Police Call For Vigilance Following A Series Of Scams
Detectives are urging Cheshire residents to be vigilant on the back of several fraud offences having been reported to police since the start of the Bank Holiday Weekend. Between Friday 24 May and yesterday, Tuesday May 28, Cheshire Constabulary was notified of scammers targeting people across the county.
The fraudsters claimed to be representatives of a bank, a building society, HM Revenue and Customs, the police and a Facebook lottery and told victims a range of lies in a bid to convince them to part with cash. Detective Inspector Alastair Hinze, of Cheshire Constabulary's Economic Crime Unit urged people living in Cheshire to be vigilant and to follow advice on how to avoid falling victim to such scams.
Cheshire Constabulary's scam prevention advice includes:
The police or your bank or building society will never ask you to become part of an undercover investigation or for you to withdraw money and hand it to them for safe-keeping, or to transfer your money elsewhere. Be wary of any calls, texts or emails purporting to be from the police, HMRC, your bank, your building society, your internet or phone provider or anyone else asking for your personal or financial details, or for you to transfer money (for whatever reason).
Do not give anyone purporting to be from a telecommunications company access to any of your internet enabled devices, passwords or personal information.
If you receive a suspicious call asking you to call back to verify that the caller is genuine, make sure that you verify that it is the correct number for the organisation they claim to be calling from. You should then only call back (on the organisation's advertised number) either at a different time or by using a different phone.
If you are approached, or feel something is suspicious, hang up the phone and do not reply and then report it to police on 101, Action Fraud and your bank on their advertised number.
If you receive a phone call (including an automated phone call) letter or email from someone purporting to be from HMRC saying that a warrant is out for your arrest for unpaid tax, this will be a scam. Report the scam to Action Fraud.
If you receive emails or letters saying that you have won a large amount of money on an overseas or online lottery you have not entered, ignore them. If you have responded to such emails/letters/phone calls, break off all contact with the fraudsters immediately.
If you have given the fraudsters your bank or building society account details, alert your bank or building society immediately. Be aware that once you have given your bank or building society account details to a fraudster you are likely to be a target for other frauds. Fraudsters often share details about people they have successfully targeted or approached, with different identities used to commit further frauds.
People who have already fallen victim to fraudsters are particularly vulnerable to recovery fraud, which is when fraudsters contact people who have already lost money through fraud and claim to be law enforcement officers or lawyers. They advise the victim that they can help them recover their lost money, but request a fee. This again is a scam.
DI Hinze added: 'If you have elderly relatives, friends or neighbours please ensure that they are aware of such scams and that you do everything you can to safeguard them and their savings. Anyone who believes that they have been a victim of a scam should contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Cheshire Constabulary can be contacted on 101."