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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Public in Cumbria warned over fraudulent bank letter

A WARNING has been issued for residents in Cumbria to properly read their mail, after a man received a scam letter in the post.

Daniel Girling, 25, of Anson Street, Barrow, received a letter claiming to be from the HSBC, telling him his account had been sold and he needed to pay off £124.17 of debt.

However, Mr Girling has never had an account with the bank and has not taken out any loans.

The letter claimed that Mr Girling was responsible for a one-off transaction and needed to deal with an appointed debt collection firm to pay off the amount.

He is warning others to be vigilant with bills and their mail, especially around this time of the year.

Mr Girling said: “I have never had an account with HSBC so to start with I immediately thought the letter was dodgy.

“I typed the phone numbers on the letter into Google and they didn’t come up with anything legitimate.

“You see these scams all the time at this time of the year. I want people to be aware because it was a very, very good letter.

“It is a well thought out letter but it is a fake as I have nothing to do with that bank.”

The letter, dated December 11, included account numbers and reference numbers which are not associated with Mr Girling.

The letter reads: “Before selling your account to us, HFC Bank Ltd checked their records and found no reason why this should remain unpaid. You therefore need to pay us the outstanding balance, which is £124.17.”

A spokeswoman from Cumbria police has advised residents to always check their letters and bills.

She said: “Residents should always check the real company’s details against the ones you have been given, and ring them direct if you are in doubt.

“Do not give any personal information to organisations or people before verifying their credentials.”

Anybody concerned that a letter might be part of a scam, can call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506 or visit www.advicegude.org.uk for further advice and support.

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