While the official crime rate might be falling, the incidence of online fraud and telephone, internet and mail scams continues. Please be aware of the following.
Phone scam – attempted credit card fraud
Reported last week by one resident:
“A man phoned purporting to be DC Robert Bain, Warrant Number CAD 68905 [there are no such warrant numbers: warrant numbers are pure figures – CAD is what comes at the beginning of crime reference numbers, standing for computer aided despatch].
“He told me my cards had been compromised. Two persons had been arrested, one male one female and six people had been affected – I think he said they were bank employees and had been able to access my card details though they didn’t actually have the cards. He asked various plausible questions and I answered one about which bank branch I used most frequently.
“He then said that before he went onto the next steps he wanted me to check what he had told me by dialling 999 as soon as I had put the phone down, ask for “police” and then give them his details so that they could authenticate him. I put the phone down and dialled 999 but realised – partly as a result of a mistake he made – that he was still connected, then hung up properly, waited for a dialling tone and dialled 999 again – got someone who immediately told me it was a scam and sent round two officers to take a statement.
“It seems to me that the crucial point is: NEVER FOLLOW AN INSTRUCTION TO HANG UP AND DIAL UNLESS YOU HAVE HEARD A DIALLING TONE FIRST.
“The caller will not be disconnected unless HE/SHE hangs up, so you can dial 999 or anything else but you will just get back to them (or their accomplice). “
This scam in one of many variations detailed in The Little Book of BIG SCAMS, now in its second edition and available online to read at: www.met.police.uk/fraudalert (for a paper copy, call 020 7230 1228). The website also has a business fraud edition of the scam booklet, along with latest fraud alerts and valuable information on how to protect yourself against a broad spectrum of fraud.
Microsoft phone scam – still making the rounds after several years …
… with callers trying to convince you that there is something wrong with your computer and offering to help you
figure out the problem right there and then. Typically, they guide you to revealing your IP address, which
would give them access and control over your PC.
Any kind of fraud should be reported to Action Fraud:
- 0300 123 2040
– unless a crime is in progress, about to happen, there is a chance of apprehending the perpetrators or they are
known, still in the area etc, or the crime involves a vulnerable person, in which case:
- dial 999 in an emergency
Otherwise, dial 101 or visit your nearest police station.