Do you know who you’re talking to? Date published: 28th September 2015 10.36am

Most of us receive cold calls on a daily basis, whether it’s from companies offering to reclaim mis-sold PPI, a knock on the door from a doorstep seller or charity, or a random email or letter asking you for money in a non-direct way.

Most people hang up the phone, delete the email or shut the door if they’re uncertain who they’re talking to. However, some fraudsters adopt professional personas – such as banks, solicitors, police officers – to try and part people from their hard earned cash.

Inspector Ian Stead said, “Fraud and internet crime costs our economy an estimated £73 billion every year, with money being used to fund crimes like drug smuggling, terrorism and people trafficking.

“We receive reports of different types of fraudulent activity including bogus cold callers and scam phone calls. Everyone needs to be vigilant when it comes to fraud, and never reveal personal details about yourself until you can be 100% certain you know who you’re talking to.”

Tips to prevent fraud include:

• Do not give any personal information (name, address, bank details, email or phone number) to organisations or people before verifying they are who they say they are.
• Many frauds start with an email. Remember that financial institutions and banks will not email asking you to confirm your bank details by clicking link. Always question whether an email could be bogus.
• 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.
• 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.

If you have been a victim of fraud, contact Cheshire Police on 101, or 999 if there is a crime in progress. Alternatively you can contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Visit www.actionfraud.police.uk for more advice and information on fraud