24 April 2023
If in doubt, check it out!
Islanders are being warned about the latest attempt to scam money out of people, which involves them receiving a text or WhatsApp message from a loved one or friend claiming they've smashed or damaged their phone.
The scammers then claim that they have a new phone and need some money as they also can no longer access their digital bank cards stored in their phone's wallet.
Islanders in both Jersey and Guernsey have already lost thousands in recent weeks.
Jersey Consumer Council Chairman Carl Walker said: "The golden rule with anything these days is if in doubt, check it out, especially if you've been contacted out of the blue by an individual or organisation. Call them back on their usual number and see if they have sent you a message before even replying to the initial message."
Islanders are also being warned about paying deposits online for things like pets and rental properties.
"Scammers are becoming more and more elaborate in their methods and now advertise things for sale or rent on local Facebook pages and, after building a relationship with those who show an interest, begin asking for deposits before viewing, ‘due to demand’," said Mr Walker.
"Obviously there are genuine people out there, but if you ever need to pay a deposit or pay for something online, you should always try to use a credit card or PayPal, as both contain strong consumer protection against scammers and allow you to recover your money. If someone you haven’t yet met is demanding a bank transfer, alarm bells should start ringing."
Islanders concerned about scams should call 612612 and report it immediately to the Fraud Prevention team at the States of Jersey Police, or visit fraudprevention.je.