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Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know

Advice on Telephone Scams

Two tricked out of £15,000 in phone fraud
Be on your guard against a telephone scam, which involves a fraudster claiming to be an official from Amazon.

The bogus official called the victims on their landline and said they were from Amazon and querying either an issue with a payment or a problem with the victim’s Prime membership.

We are aware of three incidents in the Avon and Somerset force area – two of the victims have lost a combined total of almost £15,000.
During the call a pre-recorded message invites the victim to press 1 on their phone to link to an operator. A long conversation follows in which the victim is asked to re-connect to the caller via a computer or mobile device and then allow Amazon to link to their account.

While they continue to talk to the victim, they ask them to log on to their online banking via the remote device to check whether a refund has been made to their bank.
The caller talks to the victim, distracting them from looking at their device, while money is quickly transferred from their bank, or even an application for a loan made while the banking session is open.

Amazon will never call and ask for personal information, including bank PiN numbers and passwords.
Any attempts for permission to remotely access your computer or phone should be a red flag warning. If you are suspicious or uncomfortable about the call, finish it immediately and call the company who claimed to call you, using their official number. Try to use a different phone to ensure the telephone line has not been held by the scammer or wait at least ten minutes before using the same phone.

If any link to your device has been added by the scammer – such as TeamViewer – have it professionally removed and keep the device disconnected from the internet.

General advice….

  • Neither the police nor the banks will ask you for banking details or PiN numbers on the phone. Similarly, they would never send a so-called ‘courier’ to collect bank cards or money.
  • Don’t discuss your finances with anyone who calls you out of the blue, even if they claim to be a police officer or a representative from a bank fraud department or even a well-known company.
  • Genuine callers will be happy for you to make an appointment to visit them at a bank branch or police station or for you to call them independently to verify that they have been trying to contact you. The police and banks will never ask you to withdraw cash on their behalf; arrange for cash to be collected by a courier; ask for details about your bank card; or ask for the PiN on your card.

If you know someone who may be vulnerable to this type of offence, please warn them about this or better still, print this message and give them a copy.



Fraudsters pretending to be from TV Licensing are issuing emails claiming a problem with your direct debit payment. Don’t click on any links in the message and phone the Licensing department 0300 790 6061 if you’re in doubt.


If signing a cheque or legal documents, do NOT date it 09/01/20 as fraudsters can back date to anywhere between 2001-2019. Always write the year in full eg. 09/01/2020







Some of the most common scams start with an unsolicited text, email or call. From emails and text messages asking you to ‘verify’ account details to cold callers claiming to be from your bank, the goal of these scams is usually the same, to trick you into revealing personal and financial information.

Criminals are constantly evolving the tactics they use to carry out these attacks, which is why it’s sometimes difficult for people to know what to look out for. We’ve got some simple advice that can help you protect yourself from most of the common threats.

Be wary of unsolicited emails, phone calls or SMS messages asking you to disclose personal details, such as login information – especially if they claim to come from your bank/credit card provider.

Such scams can be very convincing, and attackers may use your personal data to make them look even more realistic.

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

Spot phishing emails:

·    Many phishing emails have poor grammar, punctuation and spelling.

·    Is the design and overall quality what would you’d expect from the organisation the email is supposed to come from?

·    Is it addressed to you by name, or does it refer to ‘valued customer’, or ‘friend’, or ‘colleague’? This can be a sign that the sender does not actually know you, and that it is part of a phishing scam.

·    Does the email contain a veiled threat that asks you to act urgently? Be suspicious of words like ‘send these details within 24 hours’ or ‘you have been a victim of crime, click here immediately’.

·    Look at the sender’s name. Does it sound legitimate, or is it trying to mimic someone you know?

·    If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It’s most unlikely that someone will want to give you money, or give you access to a secret part of the Internet.

·    Your bank, or any other official source, should never ask you to supply personal information from an email.

·    For more tips on how to protect yourself online, visit

·    Another scam to be on the lookout for is related to internet connection & Amazon accounts.
These calls consist of automated messages supposedly from ‘your internet provider’ or ‘Amazon Support’ threatening disconnection within 24 hours or deletion of account.
You are urged to press a key to connect to a support person to prevent further action, which is obviously the wrong thing to do.”DO NOT click on any links you feel are suspicious.

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