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Issue:- 16 May 2013

Spot a scam – stop a scam

LIVERPOOL people are being warned to be on the look-out for callers offering financial services, but who will leave them out of pocket.  The warning comes from Liverpool Trading Standards and Speke and Wavertree Citizen's Advice Bureaux who have teamed up to run Scams Awareness Month throughout May.  They are urging people to:- 'spot scams to stop scams.'

In particular they are warning people to be wary of unsolicited phone calls or texts offering financial services such as PPI claims, loans or debt reduction services.

Trading Standards has seen an increase in complaints from consumers who have responded to these types of calls and found themselves out of pocket. Many of the calls ask for upfront payments, often by electronic money, and then provide no service to the consumer who has little chance of getting their cash back.

New figures reveal over 22,000 reports of scams were made to the Citizens Advice service in England and Wales in the last 12 months but this is likely to be an underestimate as many people fail to report if they have been ripped-off.

Eileen Devaney manager of Speke CAB said:- "People are seeing their money go down the drain as con artists rip them off by promising loans, debt management, refund of PPI or bank charges, lottery wins, or even a new job only to find there is nothing at the end. In these difficult economic times to lose money over something like this can be devastating for many people."

John McHale, of Liverpool Trading Standards said:- "This month we are warning people to be on the look out for rogues looking to make a quick buck at their expense and reminding them that scams are crimes so it is vital they are reported. Scams come in all shapes and sizes including adverts, people knocking on your door, emails, letters, phone calls, texts and over the internet, so be alert to all of them."

Key signs that something is a scam include being contacted out of the blue, requests for money in advance or telling you to keep it a secret.

As part of Scams Awareness Month both Speke and Wavertree CAB's will be running open events for the public at Allerton and Picton libraries in May.

Further information...

What to do if you have been scammed:-

Report it to Action Fraud on:- 0300 123 2040, to help stop it happening to others.

Often you can't always get your money back if you've been scammed, especially if you've handed over cash but If you've paid for goods or services by credit card you have more protection and if you use a debit card you may be able to ask your bank for a chargeback.

Get advice and report it to Trading Standards through the Citizens Advice consumer service on:- 08454 04 05 06 (for advice in Welsh phone:- 08454 04 05 05) or get advice online.

Signs of a scam

The call, letter, email or text has come out of the blue.

You've never heard of the lottery or competition they are talking about .

You didn't buy a ticket – so you can't win.

They are asking you to send money in advance.

They are saying you have to respond quickly, so you don't get time to think about it or ask family and friends before you decide.

They are telling you to keep it a secret.

They seem to be offering you something for nothing.

If it seems too good to be true – it probably is.

How to protect yourself better

Never give out contact details like your name, phone number or address to strangers or to people who should have this information already.

Never give financial information or details of your identity, bank accounts or credit card to strangers or to the
businesses that should already hold your details.

Shred anything with your personal or bank details on; don't just throw it away.

If in doubt, don't reply. Bin it, delete it or hang up.

Persuasive sales patter? Just say:- "No Thank You."

Resist pressure to make a decision straight away.

Never send money to someone you don't know.

Walk away from job adverts that ask for money in advance.

Ask friends, neighbours or family about whether an offer is likely to be a scam.

Common scams

Lotteries — A phone call, text or email proclaims a huge lottery win – even though the receiver hasn't bought a ticket. In order to collect winnings you are asked to send money to cover "processing" or "administration" costs.

Phishing — an email (or Vishing for phone calls) pretending to be from your bank asking for you to update, validate or confirm details so that scammers can access your account.

SMShing - mobile phone text messages lure you onto fraudulent websites or invite you to call a premium rate mobile number or download malicious content via the phone or web.

ElectriCity meter credit – people on pre-payment meters are offered cut-price electriCity but end up paying for their energy twice. Criminals use cloned keys to top up energy credit illegally. You end up paying for the energy twice, 1st to the fraudsters and then to the company at the correct rate.

Pyramid selling — This is an illegal trick where you are told you can earn money by recruiting new members to a money-making venture. In reality only a tiny minority make money, everyone else loses.


BOOKINGS are now being taken for cruises aboard the famous Paddle Steamer Waverley for her first sailings from Liverpool in more than a decade!  Waverley - the world's last sea-going Paddle Steamer, will sail from Liverpool on the weekend of 1 June and 2 June 2013.

On Saturday, 1 June 2013 Waverley will set sail from the Cruise Terminal at 10am for a cruise of the Lancashire coast towards Blackpool. She will sail again at 7pm for a Showboat cruise where passengers can join the party atmosphere created by the live band as they cruise on the Mersey. Bars and restaurant will be open all evening.

On Sunday June 2, Waverley will retrace the route of the original paddle steamers, steaming down the Mersey and along the North Wales Coast, past Colwyn Bay to cruise round the Northern Coast of Anglesey to Holyhead, viewing the Great Orme and Puffin Island.

Andy O'Brian, Waverley's Captain said:- "We are very much looking forward to bringing Waverley to Liverpool once again. We are very grateful for the support of the Cruise Terminal, Mersey Docks & Harbour Company and Mersey Bunkering, all of whom have worked with us to get the logistics right to allow Waverley to return to Liverpool."

The paddle steamer's first visit to Liverpool was in 1977, her 1st ever public sailings outside her home waters of the Clyde to mark the Centenary of the opening of Llandudno Pier.

Tickets for the cruises start at £21 for adults, and there is more information and booking available online or by calling Waverley's office on:- 0845 130 4647.

Everton scores with a new app

ONE of the country's leading football grounds has kicked the opposition into touch with a new app showcasing its conference and event facilities.

Goodison Park – home to premier league Everton Football Club – has turned to technology to showcase its newly refurbished conference and function rooms to those planning to host a social or corporate event at the ground.

The app, which can be downloaded free of charge, not only displays 360 degree images of the stadium's nine rooms and suites but also offers users a full breakdown of the packages and special offers available.

In addition it enables users to find out more about its executive, pitch-side boxes which boast uninterrupted views of the hallowed turf and outlines ways in which conference organisers can impress their guests by combining business meetings with a dinner and a tour of the famous ground.

Currently only available to ipad users, the Everton Venue Guide will soon be available to download from mobile phones and is constantly updated with details of packages and special offers including the present offer of day delegate packages from as little as £19.95 per person.

The basic package includes free room hire, lunch and refreshments throughout the day, along with state-of-the-art audio visual technology, free parking for up to 300 cars, free Wifi, multi plasma widescreen TVs, air conditioning and stationery.   For those without access to the new app, further information about conferencing and events at Goodison Park can be obtained by calling:- 0151 530 5250 or via email

Debate on Europe letting British business down

NORTH West manufacturers are calling on the Prime Minister to hold good his promise of leading a proper, informed debate about Britain's relationship with the EU.  Making the call ahead of the vote on an amendment in Parliament on an EU referendum, EEF, the manufacturers' organisation believes the current debate is 'letting British business down' with politicians making claims that the EU isn't working for Britain rather than focussing on how to make it work better. Instead, EEF is urging the Prime Minister to lead a debate which will provide an informed choice for British businesses, those working for them and, current and potential investors.  Commenting, David Ost, EEF North West Region Director, said:- "Our future relationship with Europe is crucial for British business, those who work for them and those companies considering investing here. They deserve better than our politicians past and present lining up to say things aren't working and that a vote is needed now. We need a debate based, as far as possible, on evidence to help the British public make an informed choice about what they could gain from a reformed Europe. In January the Prime Minister promised to promote the benefits of the Single Market and work with like-minded states in Europe to create a union focused on growth, competitiveness and job creation. Whatever their views, the rest of his party must commit themselves 100% to this approach for the benefit of Britain."

SAFE Update

THE next meeting of S.A.F.E. (Southport Access For Everyone) will be held on Monday, 20 May 2013, at Victoria Methodist Church, Sussex Road, at 7pm.  Guest speaker this month is Seftons Network and Infrastructure manager Jerry McConkey to address members and anyone who is interested in disability problems will be welcome.  The venue is fully accessible and there is adequate car parking. Light refreshments will be served before the meeting commences. For further information about S.A.F.E. For further enquiries telephone:- 07866531036 or go to their website.

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