North Yorkshire Police has distributed 90,000 custom printed pharmacy bags to help reach some of the county’s most vulnerable and elderly with fraud prevention advice.
The initiative has seen almost 60 pharmacies across North Yorkshire take delivery of the branded pharmacy bags to hand out to their customers.
Printed on the outside of the bags is advice on how to protect yourself from fraud and what to do if you are a victim of fraud.
Commenting on the scheme Detective Inspector Jon Hodgeon, Head of North Yorkshire Police’s Major Fraud and Economic Crime Unit said:
“Fraudsters use a range of tactics to target people, especially the elderly and vulnerable.
“They may pretend to be from your bank, the police, a utility company, a government department or someone else you usually deal with and trust.
“It is vitally important that people familiarise themselves with the simple steps that can be taken to protect themselves from fraud.
“Remember to be cautious and never just assume someone is who they say they are.
“Be confident and refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information. It’s okay to stop the discussion if you do not feel in control of it.
“Lastly, always stop and think before acting. Contact someone you know and trust such as a relative, friend or neighbour for a second opinion.
“We hope that by including these simple steps on the outside of the pharmacy bags we will be able to take our fraud prevention advice right into the homes of people in our community.”
Fraud Ambassador PCSO Ruth Pearson (pictured) of Skipton’s Neighbourhood Policing Team said:
“The most likely crime you are going to be a victim of these days is fraud, be it over the internet, the phone, text message or even face to face. Offenders are getting more and more sophisticated in their methods.
“I have dealt with a number of fraud victims and have seen first-hand how it impacts on their lives, whether it be a financial loss, emotional distress, lack of trust in anyone or an overwhelming feeling of embarrassment and stupidity.
“They feel like they are the only ones who could’ve fallen for it. I assure them they are not the first and will not be the last.
“It is so important that we continue to raise awareness within our communities to prevent people becoming a victim.
“The offenders don’t discriminate in relation to who they target and we need to make sure we work together to keep everyone safe.”
If you are a victim of fraud and the crime is in action, or if you are in danger, always dial 999. In a non-emergency call North Yorkshire Police on 101 or report it to Action Fraud by visiting actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. More advice on how to keep safe from fraud can be found at northyorkshire.police.uk/fraud
In addition to the fraud prevention advice, the pharmacy bags also carry information about how to sign up to the force’s free community messaging system which allows people to register to receive the latest crime notifications and community news happening in their local neighbourhood.
Users can opt to receive information on crime and other police incidents, including missing people and witness appeals; rural policing; anti-social behaviour; road safety, including road closures and traffic updates; and neighbourhood news and events, such as invitations to public meetings.
Pictured: PCSO Ruth Pearson of North Yorkshire Police and Sally Richardson of Lloyds Pharmacy in SkiptonLast modified: October 29, 2018