In an emergency always call 999

Scams Awareness Month – Do you know how to spot the signs of a scam?

Posted on 7th June 2018
Scams Month

It is Scams Awareness Month and we need your help to get the message out there about how to spot the signs of a scam.

Every day, as in county’s all over the UK, Derbyshire people are targeted by scammers – particularly using new technology.

Social media posts and websites may look legitimate but scammers are using these to dupe people into handing over thousands of pounds.

Fraudsters are increasingly using investments to lure victims in – with cryptocurrency, binary option investments and holiday timeshares increasingly being used to defraud people.

Detective Inspector Debbie King, who leads the Economic Crime Unit at Derbyshire police, said: “In Derbyshire we are seeing criminals using new methods to peddle their old tricks including scam emails that look legitimate, such as a tax refund due from HMRC asking the recipient to click on a link to receive their refund, fraudsters telephoning people claiming to be the police and asking for bank details or money to be transferred to them.

“These kinds of scams can happen to anyone – with people of all ages falling victim.

“Our messages are:

  • If it looks too good to be true – then it probably is.
  • Never assume you know who you are talking to.
  • Never feel pressured and always walk away if you feel uncomfortable.

In the past two days Derbyshire residents have been targeted by scammers purporting to be from the Metropolitan Police.

The caller states that the person’s debit card has been used at a store in London and is connected to a crime. The scammer claims to be a DC Clarke and that the resident should ring 161.

Fraud assessment and protect officer at Derbyshire police, Tammy Barnes, said: “Over the past few days we have seen an increase in numbers of calls regarding this particular scam.

“We have seen this same type of scam used before but it appears that Derbyshire residents are being targeted again.

“Fraudsters use this type of scam to gain personal information from people, which can then be used for fraudulent activity.

“If you get a call of this nature you should never give any details over the phone and never ring any numbers that have been given to you. Instead you should hang up, leave your phone for at least five minutes before making a further call and check you can hear the dialling tone – as fraudsters can keep the line open and despite ringing a further number the criminal will still be on the line.

“If you do have a call of this nature you should ring Action Fraud immediately with the details of the call using 0300 123 2040."

Advice tips on how to avoid a scam:

  • Be suspicious if you’re contacted out of the blue, even if it’s from a name you recognise
  • Don’t be rushed – you never need to make a decision straight away
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
  • Be wary if you’re asked to pay in an unusual way (such as vouchers)
  • Never send money to someone you have never met
  • Never give out your bank details unless you are certain you can trust the person contacting you
  • Walk away from job ads that ask for money in advance
  • Genuine computer firms do not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer
  • Suspect a scam? Hang up, wait five minutes to clear the line or use another phone to call
  • Persuasive sales patter? Just say: “No Thank You”
  • Don’t suffer in silence – speak out about scams

Types of scams:

In past months Citizen’s Advice has seen an increase in a number of types of fraud:

Cryptocurrency - Fake websites claim to offer cryptocurrency investments, like Bitcoin. Often, scammers will pretend that household names have endorsed the company to give it some legitimacy

Binary options - Scammers pose as stockbrokers and get you to place bets on whether phoney shares will rise or fall within a certain date. They’ll promise big returns. You should check if they are on the FCA Register and not on the warning list of firms to avoid

Bogus solicitors - A scammer will intercept emails from a legitimate solicitor and pose as them. Scammers often strike when a property is being exchanged on and get the funds diverted to their bank account instead. Check if they are on the Solicitors Regulation Authority to see if they are genuine.

 

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.