We’re backing a campaign to raise awareness of doorstep, online and telephone fraud and how to prevent it.
Fraudsters use a range of tactics to try to con people out of money, or out of personal information that they can then use to attempt to gain access to their money.
The Home Office has conducted research into this type of crime and has then consulted residents across the Avon and Somerset area to find out about their awareness of fraud and their recommendations on the best advice to give others.
The results of their research is the advice below to help tackle fraudsters, such as bogus officials claiming to be phoning or emailing from your bank or someone calling at your door claiming to be from the electricity or water company.
The Spot It, Stop It campaign is being piloted by the Home Office in the Avon and Somerset force area and is particularly aimed at those aged over 60 as research indicates that they can be more vulnerable to fraudsters than other age groups.
Kirstie Cogram, head of the Economic Crime Unit at Avon and Somerset Police, said: “We would like to thank the members of public who have contributed to this campaign and would encourage everyone to read the crime prevention advice below and to pass it on to their friends and family.”
Fraudsters are known to use the same techniques, whether they approach you by email, post, phone or at your door. This means there are simple steps you can take to help prevent yourself becoming a victim.
ü Make decisions in your own time
ü Check people are who they say they are
For free expert advice on recognising online crime go to www.getsafeonline.org
In December 2013, Edna* was contacted by someone pretending to be from her bank’s fraud department. They told her that they were investigating employee fraud and asked her to get samples of money from her bank for fingerprinting. Over several months, Edna withdrew over £120,000 – more than her life savings – for the fraudsters who then visited her home to collect the cash.
In October 2014, Harry* was called by someone supposedly from his telephone service provider claiming he was due a refund. The fraudster explained that they were having issues making the payment into Harry’s account and needed to confirm that they had the correct bank details. Harry was tricked into revealing his card number and card reader codes over the phone, which were then used to pay multiple bills from his account.
*The victims’ names have been changed to protect their anonymity.