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Fake Wales Air Ambulance social media accounts used in bid to steal personal details

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A CHARITY has issued a warning after fraudsters set up fake social media accounts in its name aimed at stealing a users personnel and financial details.

Wales Air Ambulance has said the fake Facebook and Instagram accounts were set up over the weekend.

The charity has now cancelled a competition it recently launched to win a VIP visit to an air base.

Scammers have been using the competition as a method to get users to click on links to a fake website.

The fake Facebook Page uses the Wales Air Ambulance Charity’s new ‘flying into the future’ branding which it launched on Friday.

Unlike the genuine one, the bogus Facebook page highlighted by the charity has an apostrophe after the word Air but multiple fake pages are likely to have been set up.

The link being pushed out by the scammers points users to a fake Wales Air Ambulance branded website hosted on Google Sites, a free web page creation tool.

The bogus website is clearly trying to gain credit card details from unsuspecting visitors.

The website states: “Congratulations, you are a lucky person who received a gift from us !!! Follow the final steps by clicking the registration button below! “REMEMBER” if you are required to enter a credit card number, select the “TRIAL” option for a free option. A credit card is just one of the requirements to verify your details!”

The website has a large ‘Click Here To Register’ button at the bottom of the page that directs users to yet another website which looks like a music streaming site.

Running the URL of the fake music site through a scam detecting service concludes, “This website has technical features that match with websites that have earlier been marked as a scam. Caution is required!”

Posting a warning on their Facebook page, a Wales Air Ambulance spokesperson said: “It has come to our attention that a fake Wales Air Ambulance account has been set up on Facebook.”

“This follows a fake Instagram account that was set up yesterday.”

“This fake account is asking you, our supporters, to register your details via a link. PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS. Their intentions are fraudulent.”

“It’s a sad world where somebody would want to target a lifesaving Charity.”

“Thank you for your support.”

If you have lost money as a result of social media phishing, or via any other fraudulent activity

Report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre by calling 0300 123 20 40 or by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk

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Ceredigion public transport services arrangements challenging

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WORK is ongoing to provide sustainable and affordable travel opportunities by bus.

A procurement process is currently underway to secure statutory learner transport requirements as well as opportunities for the general public to travel by bus on a number of routes in Ceredigion.

With the current arrangements coming to an end on 31 December 2022, tenders received for local bus routes are being evaluated. There is particular focus on their affordability taking into account the significant increases in tendered prices.

Unfortunately, no tender has been received for operating the 585 service, Aberystwyth-Tregaron-Lampeter. Unless a last minute contract can be negotiated, the non-school journeys on this route will not operate as of January 2023.

Opportunities for the general public to travel on some learner travel services will continue from January 2023 onwards. This is due to the integrated nature of the bus network in Ceredigion.

Councillor Keith Henson, Ceredigion County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for Transport Services said, “It is a very difficult time for the bus industry with spiralling costs, a lack of qualified Public Service Vehicle (PSV) drivers, uncertainty around future funding arrangements and low passenger numbers. The number of people using buses in Wales has been in decline for a number of years. This has been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic which has led to the amount of public funding required to subsidise local bus services rising dramatically on already stretched public finance budgets.

The Council will continue in its efforts to work with key stakeholders including local bus operators, Welsh Government and Transport for Wales to provide sustainable and affordable travel opportunities by bus. However, in the short term at least, it has to be recognised that the outlook is very challenging.”

Further updates will be provided in due course while officers focus their attention on providing the best level of travel opportunities possible.

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Flood warnings issued in parts of Ceredigion

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FLOOD warnings have been issued in Borth, Borth River Leri and the tidal area at Aberystwyth seafront.

The high tide is expected at 8:15pm on Thursday 24 November 2022 at Borth. Wave overtopping at the seafront is expected to occur between 7:15pm and 9:45pm. The properties closest to the sea front are most at risk.

If you are worried or experiencing flooding, call Floodline on 0345 988 1188.

You can visit Natural Resources Wales website to see the current flood warnings in force, check the river and sea levels or keep an eye on the 5-day flood risk forecast: https://naturalresources.wales/?lang=en

You can also follow Ceredigion County Council, Natural Resources Wales and the Met Office on social media for updates on the weather situation.

Any further details will be updated on this page: www.ceredigion.gov.uk/novemberfloodwarnings

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Winter Fuel Support Scheme open for applications

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ELIGIBLE households are reminded to apply to the Winter Fuel Support Scheme for support towards paying winter fuel bills.

Welsh Government has re-launched the Winter Fuel Support Scheme for 2022 – 2023 as part of a £90m support package to address immediate pressures on living costs.

To date, Ceredigion County Council has assisted over 5,000 households with these payments, and paid out in excess of £1million. So, if you are facing increased fuel bills and think that you may qualify, please submit your application as soon as possible. Eligible households can claim a one-off £200 payment to provide support towards paying their energy bills for their primary residence in Wales.

The scheme is open to households where the applicant or their partner is responsible for paying the energy bills and is in receipt of one of the following benefits (at any time between 1 September 2022 and 31 January 2023):

Income Support
Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
Income Related Employment & Support Allowance
Universal Credit
Working Tax Credits
Child Tax Credits
Pension Credit
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
Carers Allowance
Contributory Based/New Style Job Seekers Allowance
Contributory Based/New Style Employment & Support Allowance
Armed Forces Independence Payment
Constant Attendance Allowance
War Pension Mobility Supplement

If the applicant or their partner who is liable for the fuel costs does not receive any of the above qualifying benefits then they may still be eligible for a payment if a qualifying person lives with them. A qualifying person must meet all the following:

occupy the applicant’s or partner’s home as their primary residence, and
is a dependent child or an adult living with the applicant or their partner, and
is in receipt of one of the following benefits (at any time between 1 September 2022 and 31 January 2023):
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
Attendance Allowance
Armed Forces Independence Payment
Constant Attendance Allowance
War Pension Mobility Supplement

The payment will be available to all eligible households regardless of whether they pay for their energy on a pre-payment meter, by direct debit or by paying a bill quarterly. The fuel received can be on or off grid.

Councillor Gareth Davies, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Finance and Procurement Services, said: “I would encourage people facing higher fuel bills to check if they are eligible for the Winter Fuel Assistance Scheme to get invaluable help with fuel bills when it is most needed.”

Applications can be made up until 5pm on 28 February 2023 on the Council website: https://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/resident/benefits/winter-fuel-support-scheme/

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