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Police launch campaign to beat the fraudsters

Humberside Police have this week launched a 12-month campaign to help the public fight back against fraudsters. Its follows a year in which victims across the Force area were conned out of £8.6m.

The money – which equates to more than £23,000 every day – was lost to fraudsters between April 2018 and March 2019.

Not only will there police be hosting Fraud Roadshow events across the area every month over the next year, they will also be sharing real stories from real victims to help prevent others falling for the same tricks.

A spokesman told Beverley FM: “Our aim is to highlight how easily fraudsters can deceive those looking for their dream holiday, a bargain in the online sales, tickets to see their favourite band or those that are looking for love – but that you don’t need to be a technical wizard or spend lots of cash to protect yourself.

“We’re also continuing to work directly with victims, providing bespoke packages of support and advice to find out what went wrong and what we can do to help protect them in future.”

Detective Sergeant Ben Robinson said: “Tackling fraud and protecting the most vulnerable people in our society is a key priority for us.

“Whilst these heartless fraudsters are becoming more and more sophisticated in the way they deceive people, it only takes a few simple steps to stay safe and protect yourself and those that you care about.

“We want to give people the tools and knowledge to spot frauds and scams so they have the confidence to speak up and report things to us and Action Fraud.”

Almost all frauds now use computers or technology in some way, with criminals taking advantage of the anonymity of the online world to steal from their victims.

In many cases criminals will search the internet to find insecure devices, send emails containing malicious software and set up fake websites.

Sgt Robinson added: “We will be holding 12 Fraud Roadshow events across the Force area over the next year, starting next month.

“By taking this campaign into the heart of our communities, we can take fraud prevention advice directly to members of the public, especially those who are most at risk and are most vulnerable.

“Another key thing we want to share is that there is no need to be embarrassed or ashamed if you do fall victim to a scam. Please tell us so that we can help you.

“We create bespoke support packages around victims and seek permission from them to let a trusted other know what has gone on so they can look out for them and make sure they are not a victim of fraud again.

“We have also created the Little Book of Big Scams which has further information on fraud types, advice and where to go if you have been a victim of fraud. This will be sent out to residents across the area and has been made possible thanks to funding from the police and crime commissioner’s office.”

What to do if you’re a victim of fraud?

If you think you might have been a victim of fraud report it to Action Fraud by visiting actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040, alternatively call Humberside Police on 101. In an emergency or if a crime is in progress dial 999.

If you have information regarding those responsible for fraud, please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Action Fraud Top Tips:

  • Do not give any personal information (name, address, bank details, email or phone number) to organisations or people before verifying their credentials.
  • Make sure your computer has up-to-date anti-virus software and a firewall installed. Ensure your browser is set to the highest level of security and monitoring to prevent malware issues and computer crimes.
  • Be extremely wary of post, phone calls or emails offering you business deals out of the blue. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Always question it.
  • If you receive bills, invoices or receipts for things that you haven’t bought, or financial institutions you don’t normally deal with or contact you about outstanding debts, take action. Your identity may have been stolen.

Many frauds start with a phishing 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. Do not trust such emails, even if they look genuine. You can always call your bank using the phone number on a genuine piece of correspondence, website (typed directly into the address bar) or the phone book to check if you’re not sure.