Each month over 250 victims from the North Yorkshire area make a report to Action Fraud about the fact that they may have been a victim of a fraud or scam. A quick analysis of these figures show that nearly 40% of scams reported are initiated over the telephone. This can be a bogus call from someone claiming to be from your bank, a police officer, an officer from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or some other official informing you that your account is under threat and you need to act fast.
Recent examples include victims being called from someone claiming to be from the police stating your account is under threat and you need to attend your bank and either withdraw all your cash (and it will be collected for safety) or to transfer it to a different account. Other calls include persons claiming to be from Microsoft or BT claiming your computer is under threat and they then advise you to download a program (usually Team Viewer) which will allow the fraudster to take over your computer.
Remember, if you are unhappy with the call, put the phone down and call the company from another phone. Scammers can keep the original line open, so when you think you are calling the bank, in reality you are speaking to the scammers.
NEVER give account details to a stranger and NEVER allow a stranger access to your computer.
As we approach Christmas we see an increase in websites promoting the must have gifts at seriously reduced prices. During my experience at Trading Standards, all too often the goods advertised did not arrive or they were obviously fake. Have a reality check – would Apple sell the latest i-pad (normally £550+) for £100, would Ugg sell their boots (normally £180) for £20.
If it sounds too good to be true it DEFINITELY is!!
When using ebay, Gumtree etc – ALWAYS pay by Paypal. It offers protection if things go wrong. Do not be tempted to pay by direct transfer
North Yorkshire Police regularly place messages on Community messenger advising local residents on how best to protect themselves against frauds and scams.
Register at https://www.northyorkshirecommunitymessaging.org/ to receive the latest updates.
Here are 5 simple steps to help you protect yourself against frauds and scams:
1. Never share security details
2. Don’t assume everyone is genuine
3. Don’t feel pressured
4. Listen to your instincts
5. Stay in control