Council warns residents against scammers this summer

Merton Council is warning residents this summer about a rising number of scams being reported in the borough.

In recent cases highlighted by residents scammers are sending unsolicited e-mails, leaflets and letters stating that the recipient is entitled to a share of funds deposited in an overseas account. The scammer claims the funds have become available following the death of someone but an administration fee is necessary to release the funds.

Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, Councillor Tariq Ahmad said: “Some of our residents have been very concerned about possible scams they have been receiving and we are grateful to those who have informed the council about them in order to warn others.

“Our main message to residents is do not give away bank details or send money to people or organisations who are making these demands. People you don’t know who promise sums of money are generally only out to steal from the innocent people they contact. Scammers who succeed in getting unsuspecting people to pay a fee in order to access funds they have been promised tend to continue pressurising them for more and more money. Never give out your bank details no matter how enticing the offer may seem.”

Seven questions to ask yourself if someone asks for your bank details or for money:
1. Was the request from overseas?
2. Is the offer too good to be true?
3. Have I been asked to make a premium rate phone call to access the money promised?
4. Have I been asked to provide my bank details?
5. Have I been asked to send money to a PO Box?
6. Have I been asked to provide personal information?
7. Is it possible that I could lose money if I provide the details to I have been asked for?

If the answer to any of our seven questions is “yes”, the request is more than likely a scam.