Police in Cumbria have issued a fresh appeal for people to be on their guard against fraudsters – and to watch out for any elderly or vulnerable people they know.
Officers made the warning after the latest example of a suspected scam in which an elderly woman was asked for her details.
On this occasion, a woman in the south of the county, aged in her late seventies was phoned by someone claiming to be from a national crime department.
The person on the phone said her money was at risk and persuaded her to confirm personal details.
The alarm was raised when the woman went to her bank in Kirkby Lonsdale.
Quick-thinking staff talking to her about the experience noticed something might be wrong.
In another suspected scam, police have received at least one report of people offering to check on doors and windows to see if the people at the house were eligible for a grant.
Detective Constable John Robinson said: “These fraudsters can be convincing and sometimes intimidating.
“They can be extremely confusing, particularly to older people who might not be as comfortable with technology and services such as online banking.
“We ask that friends and family speak to any older or vulnerable relatives and neighbours to make them aware of these scams.
“If you can’t verify the identity of the caller, we recommend that you do not speak to them.”
Police officers have worked with bank staff to give them the confidence to spot when a customer might be being coerced or tricked.
DC Robinson added: “We are doing everything we can, working with others, in the fight against fraudsters to protect the public, particularly the most vulnerable.
“We’d encourage anyone who thinks they have been a victim of fraud to contact us and Action Fraud.”
Tips to take on board and highlight to others:
- Never give your personal details.
- Never give your bank details.
- Do not trust the caller display.
- Do not be rushed or intimidated.
- Never be afraid to hang up.
- Do not be afraid to report fraud and do not be afraid to say no to anyone suspected of being a fraudster.
For further crime prevention advice on fraud, go to: https://www.cumbria.police.uk/Advice-Centre/Crime-Prevention/Fraud.aspx
If you are a victim of fraud that is a crime in progress and you need an immediate police response dial 999.
If you think that you have been the victim of a fraud and it is a non-emergency situation report this to Cumbria Constabulary on 101 and to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or by visiting their website http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/