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From a police perspective: Staying aware of telephone scams

These sort of scams are becoming increasingly common, so this month, Sgt David Lonsdale wants to share with you some top tips to ensure you avoid them.

‘Telephone scams typically involve fraudsters deceiving victims into believing they are speaking to a police officer, a member of bank staff, or a representative of another trusted organisation, such as a well-known computer company in order to steal money. This month, we want to try and limit the amount of times this happens across Goole and the surrounding areas.

‘Avoid falling for a scam by always being on your guard if you receive a cold call and are asked for any of the following:

• Personal or financial information, for example full name, date of birth, address, passwords, bank details, security numbers etc.
• You are asked to transfer or withdraw money.
• You are asked to hand over your credit/debit card or cash to someone e.g. a courier who will call and collect it.

‘The bank or the police will never tell you to take these actions or ask you for financial information. If you are asked to do any of these things, someone is trying to con you. If in doubt, call back the organisation on a number you trust, but do it on another phone or leave it at least five minutes before you make the call. This is important because criminals are able to keep the line open for two minutes after you put down the phone, which means you could end up inadvertently talking to the criminal or their accomplice again.

‘Not sure what a telephone scam sounds like? Don’t worry – you’re not alone. Here’s a couple of examples so you know what to watch out for.

What they say: “We believe there is a fault on your computer but we can fix this now if you give us your card details to make a payment”.

What we say: “Say no thank you and put the telephone down. Do not engage in further conversation as these people can be very persuasive and before you know it they will have access to your computer and can freeze/lock it”.

What they say: “We are ringing on behalf of the bank and believe that someone is trying to access your bank account, if you give me your current bank details I’ll create a new account and transfer your money over into your new account immediately”.

What we say: “Do not give out any information, inform the caller that you will go to your own bank to speak to someone face to face and put the phone down”.

For other hints and tips log onto www.actionfraud.police.uk.’

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