Residents warned of scam offering government grant

Northumberland County Council is urging residents to be on their guard following complaints about scam phone calls offering large sums of cash.

Wednesday, 18th May 2016, 8:51 am
Updated Wednesday, 18th May 2016, 9:57 am

The warning follows a recent complaint from a resident who received a scam phone call claiming to be offering a government grant of £8,000.

The resident was told that in order to receive the grant they must pay £210 via a money transfer site and then provide the caller with the details to release the money. The offer is in fact a scam and once the code had been handed over – the money would have been lost.

The phone call appeared to be linked to a telephone survey the resident had completed about their TV viewing habits.

Councillor David Ledger, the council’s deputy leader, said: “It’s important that residents are aware of the potential dangers of fraudulent phone calls. These callers can unfortunately be very convincing and some people do fall victim to them.

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“If you receive a phone call that you’re concerned about, don’t be afraid to terminate the call and seek advice from Citizens Advice Consumer Service.”

Northumberland County Council has issued the following advice to residents:

Be wary of unsolicited callers suggesting or implying that you are due money

Never provide your personal details of bank details

Don’t take unsolicited calls when you are busy and can’t give the salesperson your full attention – if you want to talk, ask them to call back at a convenient time

Don’t agree to something on the phone just to get rid of a persistent caller

If you’re not clear about who you are speaking to, terminate the call

Darin Wilson, Trading Standards and Animal Health Manager at Northumberland County Council, added: “We’re urging all residents to be cautious of scam callers who are attempting to gain money fraudulently, particularly those who are asking you to complete a survey or offering a prize.

“If you suspect you are receiving a bogus phone call do not disclose any personal information, hang up the phone and report the call.”

For more advice contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0345 4040506. To report any potential fraud contact Action Fraud by visiting or call 0300 123040.