Greater Manchester Police has launched a fraud prevention campaign, following a spike in incidents of fraudsters contacting people by phone pretending to be police officers and trick them out of their money.
Advice has been issued to the public telling them how to spot potential fraud scams and to protect themselves from falling victim.
The recent scam involves offenders calling victims claiming to be a police officer investigating a fraud crime. They then ask for the victims help by getting them to either withdraw money from their bank account to be collected by a courier, transfer money into a different bank account or tricking them into giving them their bank account details.
Detective Superintendent Nicky Porter of GMP’s Economic and Cybercrime Service, said: “Fraud can have a devastating impact on people’s lives.
“Our campaign aims to encourage people to stop and think about who is on the other end of the phone and not to give anyone their bank details or personal information. The more information we can give people about fraud and how to protect themselves, the easier it will be to stop it from taking place.
“Fraudsters often target older and more vulnerable people, but I would urge anyone who suspects they have been a victim of fraud to report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.”
GMP has issued advice for the public on how to avoid being caught out by fraudsters and what to do if you feel suspicious:
· Never give money or personal information to someone you do not know or trust.
· Never disclose your bank details or PIN number.
· A police officer will never ask you for bank details or to withdraw or transfer money to another account.
· A police officer will never ask you to purchase goods for them using your card.
· You can contact your local neighbourhood policing team to verify if someone is a police officer. Find your local contact number here: www.gmp.police.uk
· Fraudsters will pressure you into making unwise decisions. They might tell you not to speak about it to other people so they don’t get caught.
· Be suspicious of phone calls, texts or emails which come out of the blue asking for personal and financial details or asking you to withdraw money regardless of who they claim to be.
· If you receive a call that raises your suspicions hang up the phone and allow at least five minutes for the line to clear.
· If you spot a scam or have been scammed, report it and get help. Contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at www.actionfraud.police.uk.