Be scam aware – an article from West Mercia Police

‘Hello, I’m Police Community Support Officer Pete Roberts of West Mercia Police, I work as part of the Oswestry Rural North Safer Neighbourhood Team. The area coverage of our SNT team covers the villages of (amongst others) Weston Rhyn, Chirk Bank, St Martins, Gobowen & Whittington.

In this edition I’d like to bring your attention to Scams, (noun: a dishonest scheme; a fraud). Scams are very prevalent at the moment and it is good practice to be aware of the scams that exist and what you can do about them. A delivery of the ‘The Little Book of Big Scams’ should be available for delivery with the Parish Roundabout newsletter in the near future. In the meantime…

Ten golden rules to prevent fraud

Remember these ten golden rules to help you prevent fraud and beat the scammers.

  1. Be suspicious of all ‘too good to be true’ offers and deals. There are no guaranteed get-rich-quick schemes.
  2. Don’t agree to offers or deals immediately. Insist on time to get independent or legal advice before making a decision.
  3. Don’t hand over money or sign anything until you’ve checked someone’s credentials and their company’s.
  4. Never send money to anyone you don’t know or trust, whether in the UK or abroad, or use methods of payment you’re not comfortable with.
  5. Never give banking or personal details to anyone you don’t know or trust. This information is valuable so make sure you protect it.
  6. Always log on to a website directly rather than clicking on links in an email.
  7. Don’t just rely on glowing testimonials. Find solid, independent evidence of a company’s success.
  8. Always get independent or legal advice if an offer involves money, time or commitment.
  9. If you spot a scam or have been scammed, report it and get help.
  10. Don’t be embarrassed about reporting a scam. Because the scammers are cunning and clever there’s no shame in being deceived. By reporting it, you’ll make it more difficult for them to deceive others.

Get help or report a scam

If you think you’ve uncovered a scam, been targeted by a scam or fallen victim to fraudsters, contact  Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit

www.actionfraud.police.uk.

Call us on 101 if you know the suspect or they’re still in the area.

Reporting crime, including fraud, is important. If you don’t tell the authorities, how do they know it’s happened and how can they do anything about it?

Remember that if you’re a victim of a scam or an attempted scam, however minor, there may be hundreds or thousands of others in a similar position. Your information may form part of one big jigsaw and be vital to completing the picture.’

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