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Fraud, often called Scams, is the fastest growing area of crime and is often not reported.

ActionFraud is the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre.

They provide a central point of contact for information about fraud and financially motivated internet crime.

Click here to download a leaflet about Action Fraud.

 

Drivers Targeted With Fake Fines

What you need to know

Action Fraud have received an increase in reports and intelligence where elderly victims are being targeted by individuals purporting to be police officers or traffic wardens. The victims are being approached whilst parked in a car park and are told by the suspect that they have parked illegally or broken a speed limit and a photo has been taken of their car for ‘evidence’.

Victims are advised that they will face a substantial penalty fine unless they pay a smaller upfront fee immediately. Victims, who opt for paying the smaller penalty, will be directed to a parking meter and asked to enter their card and PIN. These parking meters have been tampered with by the suspect in order to retain the card.

Once the victim inserts their card and are asked for their PIN, the victims are shoulder surfed for their PIN by the suspect. Once victims input their PIN, the card is retained by the machine and victims are told by the suspect to seek help from the company who operates the parking meter or their bank.

What you need to do

  • If you are suspicious about the authenticity of the fine, do not pay it until you have verified it with your local council.
  • Always shield your PIN from view when using an ATM machine, and never share your PIN with anyone.
  • If your bank card is retained by an ATM machine, contact your bank immediately to inform them.

 

Fake TalkTalk Emails



Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details.

Signs of Financial Abuse

Although many crimes are less common than they were scams are on the increase. 

Scams are crimes where the perpetrator tries to swindle the victim out of money, or out of personal information with a view to stealing their money later.

Scam is a slang term for personal fraud.  All scams are frauds.

It is estimated that around £10 billion is lost each year in the UK by victims of scams.

Age UK reports that 43% of older people – almost five million people aged 65 and over – believe they have been targeted by scammers. Those with dementia are at particular risk.

Scams can be committed over the phone, through the post, on the internet or face-to-face, often on the doorstep.

Because older people are more likely to live on their own, and are often lonely, they become targets for fraudsters. Age UK reports that in one study, it was found that 27% of single people responded to a scam.

This video shows a scammer in action. 

Mandate Fraud

Members of the public are being urged to be aware of mandate fraud and how to protect against it as part of a national campaign.

Mandate fraud is when a scammer contacts someone to request a change of direct debit, standing order or bank transfer mandate, by claiming to be an organisation a person makes regular payments to.

It is a growing problem nationwide, however, between April and September 2018 3,848 mandate fraud crimes in Cambridgeshire have been reported to Action Fraud, amounting to a financial loss of £750,000.

Nigel Sutton, Cambridgeshire police’s fraud and cyber security advisor, said: “An example of this type of fraud may be that you receive a letter in the post which appears to come from the company supplying a monthly magazine to you. It provides details of a new bank account and asks you to change the payment details to reflect this. The direct debit bank mandate is amended as instructed, however the following month your magazine does not arrive and when you contact the publisher you are told that because your payment was cancelled you no longer have a subscription for the magazine.

“Phishing emails are can be aimed at anyone in the hope they make the payment change requested. They come in the form of letters, emails, phone calls, texts or even social media posts and messages. Sometimes the criminal behind these types of scams will look at social media profiles and annual reports to do their homework against the recipient to make them appear more convincing.”

Advice on how to best protect yourself:

  • Don’t leave papers like bills lying around for others to look at and record details of standing orders and direct debits. Always verify changes to financial arrangements with the organisation directly using established contact details.
  • If you are concerned about the source of a telephone call, text message or email, call the company back using established contact details you have on file.
  • Check your bank statements carefully and report anything suspicious to your financial institution.
  • Any changes to a payment should be verified by at least a second person within the family or business, if in doubt ask a trusted friend or work colleague.
  • Read emails carefully, check for spelling and grammar, does the email use a generic salutation such as Dear Sir and not a name?
  • Be suspicious of any urgency or threat to make the payment changes.