Phone scams are a real problem. Avon and Somerset Police want to help you keep your money safe – just remember, if in doubt it’s OK to say no.
Action Fraud recorded victims’ losses of more than £2.9m nationally from just one scam – where people phone or contact people online claiming to be from HMRC – between September 2017 and September 2018. More than a quarter of the 3,240 incidents reported in that time led to victims suffering a a financial loss.
The criminals behind this type of fraud are devious, ruthless and inventive. They rely on people’s honesty or use bullying and high-pressure tactics.
As well as the HMRC scam, fraudsters claim to be from the police or your bank’s fraud investigation team, service providers like BT and many other organisations – all as a way to get at your money.
Action Fraud has lots of information on its website, including an A to Z of scams
Five things to look out for when you get an unexpected phone call:
- The caller doesn’t give you time to think. They try to stop you speaking to anyone about it such as a family member, friend or bank staff
- They’re insistent, try to frighten you or make you feel uncomfortable
- The caller asks you to transfer money to a new account – something genuine callers will never do
- They ask for your 4-digit card PIN or online banking password – again no genuine caller will ask for this information
- They claim you are a victim of fraud and offer to send a courier to your home to collect your cash, PIN, payment card or cheque book – never hand over items in these circumstances
There’s more advice on the ‘Take Five’ website.
Remember, please report it if you have been a victim or fraud or a criminal has attempted to defraud you.
How? Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud and crime reporting centre. It provides a central point of contact about fraud and financially motivated crime.
You can report online through their website www.actionfraud.org.uk or you can call 0300 123 2040.
Will you help? If you have a vulnerable relative or friend, please pop in for a cup of tea and chat to them about these scams and how to prevent them. Let them know it’s OK to say no.