‘Fraud Roadshow’ aims to make communities and vulnerable people stronger and smarter than the criminals who target them.
Our Fraud PROTECT Officer, Andy Foster, who is based in the Financial Crime Investigation Unit, has been speaking to local communities to raise awareness of fraud and the methods used by criminals.
Andy’s most recent session was with members of the Barnsley Parkinson’s Society, held at Emmanuel Church on Huddersfield Road in Barnsley, with over 50 attendees.
Andy said: “Engaging with the public is the best way to raise awareness of the issues we face and it was clear from the amount of questions asked at the end of the presentation, that members were grateful to learn more about staying safe”.
Andy is keen to raise awareness and stop people becoming a victim of fraud related crime by sharing his top tips to stay safe.
He added: “Criminals use a variety of methods to commit fraud including ‘phishing emails’ –for example, bogus messages letting you know about a recent inheritance win or phone calls in which callers pretend to be from a trusted organisation, such as your bank or the police, asking you to reconfirm your private details.
“Scammers may send letters through the post containing authentic looking official certificates claiming you have won substantial amounts of money.
“Other fraudsters target social media and dating sites, amongst the genuine profiles, fake ones are set up by criminals. They are after money, not love, are masters of manipulation, playing on vulnerable people’s good nature and emotions to ultimately steal as much money as they can.”
Here are Andy’s top tips to stay safe:
Keep your technology up-to-date
Computers are a popular target for fraudsters. Scammers can create websites containing malicious codes and send emails with viruses attached in an attempt to steal important details. Some may ask you for permission to access your computer, tablet or mobile, enabling them to download remote control software to gain access to your personal information including banking details.
Never agree to let anyone access your computer, downloading the latest anti-virus software and using an up-to-date operating system will prevent most of these attacks.
Don’t trust strangers
Fraudsters often pretend to be someone from a trustworthy profession, such as a policeman, a charity fundraiser or an employee at your bank. These people will never ask you for sensitive information such as passwords and credit card numbers, so if they do, be very suspicious.
Dealing with postal fraud
If you think you or a family member is receiving scam mail, please complete the Royal Mail Scam Mail Report and send it to FREEPOST SCAM MAIL, include any items of mail you have received that you believe were sent by fraudsters. This should include the original envelope it was sent in. You can also email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone: 0800 0113466.
If using a dating site or have met someone on social media stay on the website you met the person, often, criminals will ask you to continue communicating through a different social media app. Do not be convinced by a profile picture as this can easily be fake.
Stop unwanted calls
Communications companies including BT, Sky and Talk Talk provide free call blocking services. If you do not subscribe to any of these then consider purchasing a call blocking unit such as the Truecall Call Blocker https://www.truecall.co.uk/ or a replacement telephone with built in call blocking software http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/55409/~/bt-decor-2600-advanced-call-blocker
If you have been a victim of fraud, please report it online via our website.
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