COVENTRY drivers are being warned to be on their guard after seven reports in the city of a parking fine scam.
The warning comes from Coventry City Council Trading Standards about the ruse which sees people receive a ‘Fixed Penalty Notice’ letter via email claiming they need to pay £23.24 within 28 days or the amount will increase to £80.96.
All the letters claim to be from the ‘Home Office’, complete with logo and give the same Penalty Charge Reference of 950231341223.
Six of the fake letters were sent to the Westwood Heath area alone!
Trading Standards say the Home Office will not contact people about a parking charge as it is a Government body which primarily deals with immigration, security and law and order in England and Wales.
The ‘phishing’ expedition is a ploy by cyber criminals attempting to get people to click on links which enable them to access sensitive information.
A spokesperson said: “These messages may look authentic, but they are malicious.
“Once clicked, you may be sent to pay money directly into the fraudsters’ bank account, you might have malware installed onto your computer, or your passwords and personal information may be compromised.”
Anyone who receives any communication they think is suspicious should forward it to Report@phishing.gov.uk.
Anyone who has alreadyresponded to the scam and lost money should contact their bank and report the crime to Action Fraud on 0330 123 2040 or online at www.actionfraud.police.uk.
For more information on scams, visit: www.coventry.gov.uk/scams
How to report scams
If you’ve received a potential scam message or computer virus but no money has been lost or you haven’t responded to it, contact Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133.
If you have been a victim of a scam, contact Action Fraud (UK’s National Fraud Office) on 0300 123 2040.
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