The Trading Standards Service has received a report of a scam concerning an individual who was contacted by someone purporting to be from Hampshire County Council and acting on behalf of the Office of National Statistics.
The caller suggested that the individual’s Census form was completed incorrectly and they had a fine to pay. The caller asked for basic identification details which they said was to confirm the Census record and the individual’s bank details so they could process the fine. The Office of National Statistics are aware of similar scams in other parts of the country where money has been taken from an individual’s bank account.
The Office of National Statistics have warned that they would never ask for this type of personal information and advised that Hampshire County Council is not acting as an agent for them.
There are reports of a similar scam where information is sent by an email containing a link. The Office of National Statistics have warned that by clicking the link, malware may be downloaded onto the recipient’s computer, putting their personal data, including financial information, at risk.
Hampshire residents are advised to be alert for similar unsolicited phone calls or emails from anyone purporting to be from an official body, and to check the callers identity with the genuine organisation before talking with them. In addition;
DO NOT disclose any personal information over the phone or in an email
DO NOT pay any money to unsolicited callers
DO NOT click any links in an email if you are not sure of the source.
For further advice please contact:
Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 04 05 06 or online using the Online consumer complaint form