Scam Alerts

This page will try to keep Guildford u3a members informed about online scams.

General advice

Sussex and Surrey Police have a website where you can find information about scams and other crime in this area see

  • Check where links actually go before clicking on them. Hover the mouse over this link to see where it actually takes you.
  • Whilst some scams have poor spelling or grammar that you would not expect from the organisation from which they purport to come, others can be very convincing. A recent email that appeared to be a customer survey from Sainsbury's was very difficult to spot as a scam.

NCG list scam

The scam starts with a message from a Facebook friend who has been hacked. The fraudster messages with a conversation starter such as 'Hello, how are you doing mate?'. They then tell you about their day by saying things like 'I'm good, just having a coffee' to convince you that you're talking to your friend.

Next, they tell you they saw your name on the 'NCG list', which they describe as 'a national community grant that assists government employees, old, retired workers, non-workers, youths and the disabled with cash.' No such list or grant exists.

The fraudster will then ask you if you’ve received any money. They will say that they received a grant of tens of thousands of pounds, before sending you a link to make an application.

If you click on a link provided by a scammer, this could result in malware being downloaded onto your device. You may also be taken to a dodgy website where you're asked to enter your personal details, which can be used to scam you now or at a later date.

Fake Wetherspoon meal voucher competition
Fake meal vouchers for Wetherspoon pubs are being promoted on Facebook, despite the chain shutting all its social media accounts in 2018.

HMRC Scams
Fraudsters often try to mimic HMRC’s messages so they look authentic – be it through scam phone calls or fake web pages – as victims are more likely to transfer money to an institution they recognise and trust.

Fake NHS Covid-19 PCR text
This one is a fake text message demanding that you ‘order a PCR testing kit’. It’s made to look like you’ve been pinged by the NHS Covid-19 app, but is another example of fraudsters seeking to panic you into following a URL leading to a fake website.

Which? report on domain spoofing
Which? report on DPD text scam

I have just received a text message saying a new recipient has been set up from my Santander account and to visit if it wasn't me. I don't have a Santander account but if you do, don't click links in text messages but log on to your account in the normal way.

One member appears to have had her email hacked, so if you get an email like this, it's a scam
"How are you doing, I hate to bother you, but i was hoping you could do me a favour.
Awaiting your soonest response at your earliest convenience.
Margaret x
Sent from Mail for Windows 10"

The Third Age Trust have asked us to pass on this message:

A u3a member got in touch with us to tell us she had received a phishing email supposedly from Norton, an anti virus software company, about payment to renew an account she does not have. It says that they will deduct over £220 unless she cancels within 48 hours. If you receive an email like this, please don't click on the links and please take independent advice before paying any unexpected requests for money.

A u3a member got in touch to tell us about a company who had taken extra money out of her bank account without her knowledge. The company involved specialises in products aimed at older adults. She contacted the bank who stopped any further charges on the card from the company and gave advice on what to do next, eventually the company paid back the money.

Please encourage your members to check their bank accounts regularly and immediately report any suspicious debits that they do not recognise. Most banks are able to put a stop to any charges and give advice on how to get refunds where appropriate.

Another good practice is to search for reviews and credit ratings before buying from a new company.