KCC Scams News


26 May 2023
Dear Kent Residents

This week we have reports from Which? on the most convincing scams of 2023 so far. There have also been two product recalls for baby equipment from Asda and John Lewis, check to ensure you or your family do not have potentially hazardous products.

Please take time to read and share with friends and family and catch up on our Cost of Living Newscasts to shop safely online and in Kent.

Kind regards

Victim Safeguarding Officer

There has been a spate of viral fake posts in community pages worldwide about missing children or elderly people. More on the Which? website.

⛔ People are asked to share these Facebook posts more widely. Which?’s experts know they are fake because you can find near-identical posts in community pages all over the world, simply with the location changed. Search ‘Robert Spall dementia’ on Facebook and you will find the same post in pages for California, USA and Bogota, Colombia.

Comments are invariably turned off on the posts to avoid people pointing out the inconsistencies. After the post has gained a large number of likes, the contents are edited into something completely different, such as a straightforward investment scam. The large number of likes and shares that stay on the post will then lend credibility to the fraud. This despicable scam relies on responsible citizens liking and sharing posts in an attempt to help – which they do, in large numbers.

🚨 This is a scam.

While missing person posts can of course be genuine, it can be difficult to tell. To avoid perpetuating a scam or unwittingly participating in stalking or harassment, people are best off only sharing official posts, such as those posted by police forces or the Missing People charity. Some regional police forces have warned that you should never like or share a post that has the comments turned off.

For advice and to report contact Citizens Advice on consumer helpline 0808 223 1133 or report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Pig butchering among most convincing scams of 2023 so far.

⛔ ‘Pig butchering’ scams have been given their name by fraudsters because they ‘fatten up’ the victim by forming a romantic connection before executing the investment part of the scam. The scammer and victim typically meet on a dating site and the victim is ‘love-bombed’ over a period of weeks by someone who appears to take a great interest in their life. The scammer will often encourage their victim to move from the dating platform to a private messaging service, thus removing them from any protections the dating site might offer.

When the victim is sufficiently groomed, the scammer claims they have been having success investing – typically in property or cryptocurrency – and they offer to invest some of the victim’s money. If the victim consents, they are sometimes shown a crypto trading platform controlled by the scammers, and encouraged to sign up and begin depositing funds. One UK victim, a former Somerset police officer, lost £107k to such a scam, believing she was investing in retirement apartments in Cyprus.

🚨 This is a scam.

To avoid the scam, look out for signs of ‘love-bombing’, attempts to move onto a private messaging platform, reluctance to meet in person and requests for money or a concerted effort to get the person to ‘invest’. For those in an online relationship, it is worth checking in with a friend or a member of your family on how it is going, sometimes other people can help to spot warning signs and inconsistencies when we are too caught up in the moment.

Information provided from the Which? website.

For advice and to report contact Citizens Advice on consumer helpline 0808 223 1133 or report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

In 2022 Meta, found 400 Android and iOS apps stealing users’ Facebook login details.

⛔ Some apps are slipping past the the app store screening, being approved but these fake apps can install malware on phones, steal data and perpetuate scams.

Last year, online security firm Praedo discovered a so-called security app on Google Play impersonating a Two Factor Authenticator. It stole users’ banking information and had been installed more than 10,000 times before it was discovered.

When installing an app, click on the developer’s name and check what other apps it is made to see if these seem legitimate. Check reviews, but remember positive ones can be faked. Read the negative ones, too. The app will likely ask users for permissions: to use the camera, for example. These need to be relevant and proportionate to the functions of the app – an app that only needs a rough location should not ask for a precise one. Find out more on Which?

For advice and to report contact Citizens Advice on consumer helpline 0808 223 1133 or report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Product recall for Badabulle foldable bath seat presenting a risk of choking and being recalled by Asda.

❌ Batch 051221 has been recalled as the warning label may peel off and create a possible choking hazard if a child were to place it in their mouth.

❎What you should do – If you have purchased Badabulle Foldable Bath Seat Batch Code 051221 please take it back to your nearest Asda store where you will be given a full refund. You do not need your receipt.

If you did not purchase at Asda but elsewhere please visit the manufacturers recall information here.

John Lewis are recalling Bluebell Baby Monitors as there is a potential risk of the child not being monitored correctly.

❌ This means there is a potential risk of the child not being monitored correctly.

Affected Monitors:
– Bluebell baby monitor 9in1
– Bluebell smart baby monitor
– Bluebell babymonitor
– Bluebell 8in1 HD baby camera monitor

Product Codes: 31355903, 31355901, 31355902, 31301014
Product sold from: 01/07/2019 to 10/05/2023

❎ What to do – If you have bought this product between these dates or with the affected batch code:
– Stop using the product immediately
– Package up item
– Return to your local John Lewis & Partners branch for a full exchange or refund. Contact John Lewis on 03456 049 049 (08.00- 21.00 Monday to Sunday)

Report scams and get advice from Citizens Advice consumer helpline 
Watch Cost of Living Newscast Episodes

If you have information on doorstep criminals, counterfeit, fake or illegal goods, illicit tobacco, loan sharks or those selling restricted items to underage kids, call the charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 
Report to Crimestoppers

To report scams and get advice on consumer issues call Citizen’s Advice consumer helpline on
0808 223 1133.
Report to Citizens Advice


Trading Standards Checked carries out checks on traders so customers can have peace of mind when choosing a tradesperson to do work in their home.

Please help to keep your family and community safe. If you need work done in your home or garden, visit the website to find a safe local tradesperson.

Visit Trading Standards Checked

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