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Police Advice on Common Scams


Police advice on common scams

Action Fraud and the Metropolitan Police are aware of the current scams being employed. And some are quite audacious. most scammers rely on fear and employ techniques to precipitate either quick financial transactions or gain access to important personal information.

Phone numbers

Some phone companies provide national numbers and premium rate numbers, such as 0800 or 0845, to businesses or individuals, who often don’t need to provide ID to get them.

Scammers often use these numbers. They’ll divert them to unregistered pay-as-you-go mobile numbers or to a separate answering service, making them difficult to trace.

Because of this, don’t rely on the appearance of a phone number to tell you what sort it is.

For example, 0208 is usually a London number and 07952 a UK mobile number. But scammers buy these numbers to trick you into believing the business is legitimately based somewhere that it really isn’t.

Scammers also use software to have any number they wish to appear on your phone’s caller ID screen. This method, known as ‘spoofing’, means they can appear to be calling from a legitimate number linked to a person or company, when in fact they aren’t.

Courier Scams

In most cases of courier fraud, a fraudster phones their victim and claims to be from their bank, the police or other law enforcement authority. They then con the victim into revealing their PIN and credit or debit card details. Sadly, the most common victims of courier fraud are the elderly.

Examples of Courier Scams

A scammer calls you, claiming to be from your bank or a police officer. They tell you either that:

  • a fraudulent payment has been spotted on your card that needs sorting out
  • someone has been arrested using your details and cards

The other common trick is for a courier to deliver an item to your door and then ask you to pay the delivery charge at your door using a point of sale credit card terminal PDQ card reader which copies the relevant account and chip and pin information.

Action Fraud highlight the current scams (in alphabetical order) that they currently know of that are affecting consumers and the general public.

Here is the “The Little Book of Big Scams” and below is a video published by Richmond Police.

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C4 Dispatches July 2019

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