The John Lewis stores are very well known across the UK with more than 40 department stores and hundreds of Waitrose supermarkets.
So, an email from someone claiming to work for John Lewis and asking us to provide our products to the stores group is surprising, but obviously a scam.
The grammar is reasonable but a little odd e.g. “Indeed we are interested in your products, we would like to know if you can provide them”.
The message sender claims to be a “Senior Executive Purchase” at John Lewis but his email address is a Gmail account.
The scammer has created a fake email address at johnlewispartnerships.com, but that is not John Lewis at all.
Just a dumb scammer with a simple lying message, looking for gullible people to reply.
If you are in business and are unsure whether such an email offering to do business with you is fake or real – lookup the real contact details for the business and contact them directly, but never reply to unsolicited emails or text messages.
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I had a very plausible chap calling me yesterday saying he was from John Lewis Mastercard and that someone had requested a change to my default phone number. He was calling to check it was actually me.
I said that I hadn’t but he wanted to verify who I was, by asking the typical security questions you get from companies like John Lewis.
This worried me and I told him I wasn’t comfortable continuing the conversation.
He said that if I looked at the display number on the phone it would be the one on my credit card and it was.
Note: this doesn’t prove he is calling from that number as scammers use software to spoof the number i.e. make it look like he was calling from that number.
Anyway, I did stupidly tell him the colour of my credit card (standard security question) but then got suspicious and hung up. Needless to say when I contacted John Lewis on my landline they had not phoned me at all.
Apparently, the scammers can use even quite small pieces of information like that to their advantage. So I guess the lesson is never give any element of security information to anyone calling out of the blue. If it is your bank or credit card company they will not mind you phoning them back-preferably on a different phone to the one you were contacted on.
Linda’s big tip: Do not call your bank or credit card lender from the same phone as the one you received the call on. ALWAYS use a different phone.
Well done Linda.
If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.