Halton residents have been receiving emails allegedly from ‘TM Courts & Tribunals Service’ regarding car penalty notices.
However, these are scam emails, warns Halton Borough Council Trading Standards experts.
They are urging you to delete them without clicking on any links.
The email (attached) has all the hallmarks of a scam. For example:
1. The email is actually sent from an email address ending in @visualgestion.net.
2. The email doesn’t address the consumer by name (this is because they don’t know it).
3. The email has a lot of spelling mistakes within it.
4. The location of where the consumer has picked up the parking fine is ‘United Kingdom’; this is purposely vague so you cannot question it.
5. They give you a contact telephone number, but then say it’s not available, this is just to give it a veneer of authenticity.
Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member for Trading Standards, Cllr Dave Cargill, said: “The reality is they just want you to pay via the link in the email.
“The above issues with this scam email are not dissimilar to most scam emails, the only difference is the product or service (e.g. Tv licence, HMRC, eBay/PayPal, mobile phone or internet provider contracts).
“Sometimes these scam emails are saying you are owed money (i.e. you’ve won a competition or HMRC have taken too much tax), other times (as above) you have a fine or debt to pay.
“If you receive the email below, simply delete it. “
If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.
If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline or 0808 223 1133