Smartphone dark scam

With many mobility retailers having closed their showrooms to protect staff and customers, a new scammer posing as a customer in the Bristol area has been attempting to purchase high-ticket items over the phone.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown measures to flatten the curve, demand across multiple sectors has plummeted. One area that has seen a surge since the pandemic, however, is fraud.

According to the latest figures from Action Fraud, coronavirus-related fraud alone was up 400 per cent in March compared to February, with total losses of just under £1 million.

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In response, Graeme Biggar, Director General of the National Economic Crime Centre, said: “Criminals are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to scam people in a variety of ways and this is only likely to increase. We need individuals and businesses to be fully aware and prepared.”

Unfortunately, the mobility industry is not immune to scams.

The British Healthcare Trade Association (BHTA) has warned mobility retailers operating in and around Bristol to be careful after two of its members were almost victim to the fraud.

The report from the member reads: “We were contacted yesterday [1st April] by a gentleman wanting to buy a mobility product and he was apparently desperate to get it delivered the same day. We did an assessment of sorts to determine closer what was required and he was in so much of a hurry that he wanted to pay for it there and then over the telephone.

“A few minutes later we received another call, from the same mobile number wanting to buy a scooter immediately and pay over the phone, with delivery to a different address. We have spoken to another member, who has a shop just 400 yards from the address we were given for delivery, and he has had three similar calls in the last two days.

“Clearly someone has access to stolen credit cards and is trying to buy high value items as quickly as they can from any outlet that is open.”

Commenting on the alert, Sarah Lepak, Director of Governance & Policy at the BHTA, said: “Sadly, scammers will exploit any situation they can. We urge all our members and the industry as a whole to please stay alert.”

https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Smartphone-dark-scam.jpg?fit=900%2C576&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Smartphone-dark-scam.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Calvin BarnettNewsroomRetailer NewsSector NewsThird SectorTrade NewsAction Fraud,BHTA,Bristol,British Healthcare Trades Association,coronavirus,COVID-19,mobility retailers,scam,scammers fraudstersWith many mobility retailers having closed their showrooms to protect staff and customers, a new scammer posing as a customer in the Bristol area has been attempting to purchase high-ticket items over the phone. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown measures to flatten the curve, demand across...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals