Police warn Cheshire residents to be vigilant following several phone scam incidents

Posted: February 2014

Police are warning Cheshire residents not to fall victim to phone fraudsters claiming to be from a bank or posing as police officers.

Cheshire Police are aware of several incidents in Lymm, Knutsford and Warrington relating offenders phoning elderly people and telling them their bank cards had been compromised and needed to be cancelled.

They advised the victim to hang up and ring the bank or police back to ensure the call is genuine. The offender stays on the line, sometimes passing the call to another person so the caller thinks they are genuine.

They then tell the victim that a courier will pick up the cards and that there will be a charge for this. The cards are then picked up from the victim's address and used by the offenders to steal money from their account.

PC James Read said:

Not only do they take money from your account; they charge you a fee for the privilege.

Don′t be afraid to put the phone down on someone if you are unsure about handing over details.

Banks never call and ask for your four-digit card Pin or ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them or transfer money to another account.

Never assume a caller is genuine just because they hold some information about you. Criminals may already have some basic information, such as a name, address and account details to try to make the call appear legitimate.

Always be wary of cold callers who suggest you hang up the phone and call them back.

Remember that it takes two people to terminate a call so try and use a different phone line if you are asked to ring back. If you think you′ve already been a victim of this scam, contact your bank or card company immediately.

What is fraud?

Fraud happens when somebody lies, or deceives you in order to cause harm, usually by costing you money. Even if you have not lost money, you may still have experienced fraud.

You may know fraud better as a:

  • Scam
  • Con
  • Cheat
  • Swindle
  • Hoax

Internet Crime and Fraud

What is internet crime?

There are many forms of internet crime and new cases are being uncovered all the time. For example,

  • Phishing emails with links to fake websites to trick people into entering personal details or account information.
  • Criminals that attack your computer with a virus or spyware and try to steal personal information such as usernames and passwords.
  • Online auction scams where the seller asks you to pay by money transfer or direct to their bank account.

The best way to disrupt criminals using the internet to commit crimes is for you to report it.

Reporting Fraud

If you're a victim of fraud that is a crime in progress and you need an immediate police response dial 999 or if it is a non-emergency situation, call 101. You can also report fraud by contacting Action Fraud


Why it is important to report fraud and internet crime

Fraud and internet crime costs our economy an estimated £73 billion every year. This money is often used to fund crimes like drug smuggling, terrorism and people trafficking.

By reporting incidents or fraud or internet crime to Action Fraud you are enabling the police and fraud authorities to build a profile of those committing fraud and catch those involved.

Top 5 tips to prevent fraud

  1. Do not give any personal information (name, address, bank details, email or phone number) to organisations or people before verifying their credentials.
  2. Many frauds start with an email. Remember that banks and financial institutions will not send you an email asking you to click on a link and confirm your bank details. Always question whether an email could be bogus.
  3. Destroy and preferably shred receipts with your card details on and post with your name and address on. Identity fraudsters don’t need much information in order to be able to clone your identity.
  4. If you have been a victim of fraud, be aware of fraud recovery fraud. This is when fraudsters pretend to be a lawyer or a law enforcement officer and tell you they can help you recover the money you’ve already lost.
  5. To report fraud or if you need advice, visit Action Fraud's website.