Scam e-mails seek to steal your details

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WATCH out for e-mails landing in your inbox that may look legitimate - but are designed to steal personal information.

That’s the warning to Bexhill residents and busninesses following reports of two recent examples of e-mails which have been circulating nationally.

One e-mail appears to be from the Commonwealth Secretariat and HM Treasury, and says you have qualified for a £1,000 grant. Another claims it is from the Population Census, and demands information even though the Census was completed last year.

Both are scams that try to get people to give out their personal information - which may then allow their financial details to be stolen.

East Sussex County Council’s Trading Standards Team has issued the warning as part of its Scamnesty campaign this month. During the campaign, the council wants people to take scam mail to their local library to help identify scams and the scammers behind them.

Councillor Carl Maynard, lead member for economy, transport and environment, said: “The e-mail scams are on different themes but share the same objective. The people behind them want you to give out your personal and financial details so that they can steal from you.

“It’s exactly the same as someone coming into your home and pocketing your cash – the only difference here is that the criminals can do it at the click of a button. If you have any doubts about an email our advice is to press delete - do not open the email or click on any links that may be included. You can also help by reporting the email and taking in any other examples of scam mail that you may receive to your local library during our ‘Scamnesty’ campaign.”

• For more information on how to protect yourself from this type of scam, please see www.getsafeonline.org. If you wish to, please report receipt of any such suspicious e-mails to www.actionfraud.org.uk For more information about the work of Trading Standards, visit www.eastsussex.gov.uk/consumeradvice.