Photograph of Phoenix employee in high vis jacket
Photo of Deirdre Kennedy
Deirdre Kennedy
Monday 13th August 2018 - 13:46

Gone Phishing: stay scam aware

Deirdre is a Phoenix tenant and member of our Scrutiny Panel. Deirdre has previously written about the benefits of our weekly Digital Drop-in session.

The growth of technology has opened up new, wonderful opportunities for many of us, allowing us to benefit from cheaper online shopping, keeping in touch with friends and family, and countless other things.

But the internet has also opened up new ways for the less friendly persons in our community to take advantage.

With new ways of scamming – fake phone calls, false emails and forged texts – as tenants, we must be vigilant for ourselves and our neighbours.

How? By remembering some key points:

  • No one legitimate will ever phone or text demanding details of your accounts.
  • No bank will ask for your account details over the phone.
  • When you receive a letter and it’s full of typos or not on officially headed paper, it’s likely a scam.

Other common tricks include texts, supposedly from the taxman, asking you to click a link to claim a tax refund, or emails from your “bank” suggesting you click a link which actually gives away your bank account details.

Remember: if you’re ever unsure, play it safe and do not click the link. Call your bank and ask if it is them.

And just because scammers have moved online, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t be knocking at our doors, too.

We residents are lucky that the Phoenix Repairs Service is here to help when things go wrong in our homes. If the electricity fails or the plumbing breaks, our landlord will help.

And when someone arrives, they will always carry photographic ID, be able to prove they work for Phoenix and be happy to wait for you to call our contact centre to confirm their identity if you are concerned.

If someone calls claiming to work for Phoenix or someone like Thames Water, ask for their ID. If they refuse, close the door immediately and call the police on 101. Call Phoenix, too: it’s important they know so they can help stop it.

Scams may be more common, but if we look out for each other, we can stay safe.

Action Fraud, the official police service on fraud, has more information on the various types of scams.

Lewisham Council has advice on recognising and reporting doorstep scam.