An independent living complex in Devizes has been visited by our Fraud Team to educate residents about fraud.
Residents and staff at Anstie Court heard a talk by Fraud Protect Officer PC Rachel Davies, supported by PCSO Chloe Lavelle, about scams and how some victims have potentially lost thousands of pounds in the past.
Rachel spoke to the group, covering a variety of topics about fraud including courier fraud.
Courier fraud occurs when a fraudster contacts victims by telephone purporting to be a police officer or bank official. To gain a victim’s trust, the caller might be able to confirm some easily obtainable personal details such as their full name and address. The caller might then suggest money has been removed from their account by mistake, police need money for evidence or even need the victim to purchase an item of high price ‘evidence’.
Victims are asked to co-operate in an investigation and withdraw money from their bank, foreign currency from an exchange or handing over the expensive item to a ‘courier’ for examination. The collector of which will be a fraudster.
PC Rachel Davies and PCSO Chloe Lavelle
PC Rachel Davies said: "It's really helpful to go in to places like this so we can speak to people face-to-face about fraud. It's the best form of communication.
"I carry out a Fraud Protect surgery at the Chippenham Community Hub once a month as well as giving several fraud talks to groups like WIs, church groups and schools.
"Courier Fraud is a very complex crime and it's easy for people to fall victim because these fraudsters are very convincing. People need to be mindful that if someone calls you and asks you to transfer money or for your credit card details then the chances are it's a scam.
"As for today (21/4), we had some really good engagement from the group and I hope they will all be more mindful if an unscrupulous fraudster comes knocking or calling. Hopefully, everyone got something out of this and will take away the knowledge and message about courier fraud and general scams.
"If anyone would like to book me for a preventative fraud talk - please contact me via [email protected]"
Sandra Reardon, House Manager, said: "Judging by the feedback from our residents, people here - like everyone - receive fraudulent emails and scammed mail from time to time and they need some advice about what to do.
"Having a police officer come here to give that advice is much more impactful than anything else. They will listen and take onboard what an officer says.
"People often feel embarrassed about being scammed. But, it's nothing to be embarrassed about. It's always best to talk about it so these fraudsters can be stopped."
• Your bank and the police will never ring and ask you to verify your PIN, withdraw cash or purchase high-value goods. They’ll also never come to your home to collect your card, cash or purchased items. If you get a call like this, end the call.
• If you get a call from your bank or the police, make sure you know who the person is before handing over any personal details. You can do this by calling your bank (the number on the back of your card) or the police (101) on a different phone line.
• To get a different line, use a phone owned by a family member, friend or neighbour. This is because scammers can keep phone lines open after pretending to hang up. So while you think you’re making a new phone call, the line is still open to the scammer, who pretends to be someone from your bank or the police.
• Depending on your bank, the security questions they ask may be different, but they’ll never ask you to authorise anything by entering your PIN into your phone.
• Never send money abroad to a person you've never met or to anyone you don’t actually know and trust.
• Likewise, never agree to keep your online relationship a secret. This is a ploy to get you not to tell your family and friends, who’ll see the scam for exactly what it is.
For more advice please visit www.actionfraud.police.uk