North Yorkshire Police has today launched the second part of its six-month awareness campaign to help the public protect themselves against fraud.
The second phase of the campaign highlights the methods that fraudsters use to deceive their victims over the phone and techniques to help the public recognise them.
Fraud over the phone – or Vishing – refers to complex telephone based frauds that are conducted over the victim’s landline telephone or mobile phone system.
The offenders identify victims, often vulnerable, and then ‘cold call’ them under the guise of Police Officers or other officials; such as fraud investigators or bank staff.
The victims are then pressured through social engineering into transferring significant amounts of money via bank transfers or pressured to withdraw the money from their bank and hand it to a courier.
Other common types of phone scams can include computer repair scams, compensation calls, HMRC scams, pension and investment scams and ‘anti-scam’ technology frauds.
Between April 2017 and September 2017, 36% of victims of fraud in North Yorkshire reported that that they had been contacted over the phone by the offender.
In the last two weeks alone there have been seven reports in North Yorkshire where the victim was targeted over the phone.
North Yorkshire Police is working with Action Fraud, other police forces and the Op Gauntlet team to investigate the latest reports and to establish if there are any links.
Commenting on the second phase of the campaign, Detective Inspector Jonathan Rowland, of North Yorkshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit said:
“Fraud over the phone is the most common enabler of fraud in North Yorkshire and has increased 4% compared with the previous six months.
“Since mid-April alone we have had seven reports in North Yorkshire where offenders have called their victim over the phone, imitated a trusted organisations such as a bank or a police officer to gain their victims’ trust and defrauded them of their savings.
“They are becoming more sophisticated in the way they deceive and manipulate their victims into gaining their trust and can easily disguise their number to look like one you recognise.
“Please remember that the police or your bank will never call you and ask you to transfer or withdraw money. They will also never ask you to become part of a police investigation.
“If you receive a call of this nature, or have any suspicions at all, do not engage in conversation, please hang up the phone and report it.”
Five things to look out for on a fraudulent phone call:
The caller doesn’t give you time to think, tries to stop you speaking to a family member or friend or is insistent and makes you feel uncomfortable.
- The caller asks you to transfer money to a new account for fraud reasons or to aid an investigation.
- They phone to ask for your 4-digit card PIN or your online banking password. Even if they ask you to give it to them by tapping into the telephone keypad rather than saying the numbers out loud, this is a scam.
- They ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping.
- They may say that you are a victim of fraud and offer to send a courier to your home to collect your cash, PIN, payment card or cheque book.
More details about the campaign and advice on how to keep safe from fraud can be found at northyorkshire.police.uk/fraud or by following North Yorkshire Police on Facebook and Twitter.
If you are a victim of fraud
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, call North Yorkshire Police on 101 or report it to Action Fraud by visiting actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. In an emergency or if a crime is in action dial 999.
If you have any information regarding those responsible for such crimes, please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.
For all interview requests please contact Hannah Popplewell by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Last modified: May 3, 2018