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Danger, fraudsters!

BEWARE THE FRAUDSTERS
Figures published recently indicated, rather worryingly, that Chichester district has the highest number of people in the county aged over 60 who are victims of fraud. Collectively, these people lost over £3 million just between April and June. This is something that Chichester District Council are currently working closely with Sussex Police and other agencies to try and prevent.

If you are shopping online, some useful tips on how to do so safely can be found here.

If you think you’ve been a victim of online fraud, report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre on 0300 123 20 40 or at www.actionfraud.police.uk

New 159 Fraud Hotline
Under a new pilot scheme set up by certain banks and telephone companies, if you think someone claiming to be from a trusted organisation is trying to trick you into transferring money or revealing personal details you can hang up and simply dial 159 to speak directly to your bank’s fraud protection service to alert them to the situation. More information on the 159 scheme can be found here.

PROPERTY TITLE FRAUD – PROTECT YOUR HOUSE FROM SCAMMERS
Fraudsters attempting scams to steal from us via our landlines, mobile phones and email/internet are all too common and great caution is needed given their ability to make use of authentic looking websites to give weight to their credibility. In more recent times a more sinister scam has emerged known as property title fraud where scammers pose as owners and attempt to sell a house unbeknown to the real owner! An effective protection against this type of fraud is available, free of charge, by HM Land Registry’s Property Alert service which notifies homeowners of any local authority searches being carried out on their property without their knowledge or consent – a clear indicator of attempted property title fraud.

Apparently, according to an article in the press recently, as many as 99% of homes had not signed up to the property alert service. However, even signing up for this free service could lead to your paying an unnecessary charge to a third-party by mistakingly contacting a website which bears a similar name to the official one and appears high up in the results delivered by your search engine when looking for the real Land Registry website. This a very similar ploy used by third-parties with websites looking very much like the DVLA’s where you can end up paying unnecessary charges for renewal of a driving licence etc,

If you wish to sign up for the property alerts, read some interesting information and watch a short video clip about property title fraud please see here.