People across the North West are being warned to look out for a number of different phone scams, as chancers continue to dupe vulnerable residents out of thousands of pounds. The six most active scams being used in the region at the moment are:
- Police scam - you may receive a call from someone claiming to be a police officer or detective who convinces you to withdraw funds and hand them over to an investigator. They may give you a fake crime number and investigation details. They also convince you not to trust bank staff. In some cases, people are asked to call 999 or 101 to verify the call is genuine but the scammers keep the line open, so you are actually talking to them.
- Amazon Prim scam - you may get a call from someone claiming to be from Amazon Prime saying you’ve been charged for an annual subscription. They then tell you that fraudsters have hacked your account to authorise payment, but it can be cancelled if you press 1 and then give access to your bank account in order to undo the hack. Amazon Prime would never ask you to do this.
- Bank scam - someone may call claiming to be from your bank saying there’s a problem with your card or account. They may ask for your account, card and PIN details. They may also advise transferring your money to a ‘safe’ account to protect it. A bank would never ask you to do this.
- HMRC scam – you may get a call from someone claiming to be from HMRC saying there is an issue with your tax refund or an unpaid tax bill. They leave a message asking you to call back. HMRC would never contact you in this way and ask for personal information and bank details.
- Compensation scam – you receive a call to tell you that you are due compensation for a vehicle/work accident and you are then asked to provide personal details and/or pay an admin fee to proceed.
- Computer repair scam – an old one, but still very popular. Someone calls claiming to be from a well-known IT firm such as Microsoft to tell you your computer has a virus. They will ask you to download ‘anti-virus software’ which may cost but also turns out to be spyware, used to get your personal details. IT companies don't contact customers this way.
"Some involve phishing, a type of scam in which the caller is trying to find out information (such as personal or banking information) that can be used in other crimes. "We want to make people in the North West aware that scammers are becoming more inventive and if something sounds too good to be true or out of the ordinary, it could well be a scam. "We always strongly recommend never giving your bank details or paying for something over the phone that you're unsure of, especially if the call you receive is the first time you have heard of any payment that needs to be made.
"If you suspect you may have compromised your bank account, contact your bank or card provider as soon as possible. "It is also advisable to check your bank and card statements regularly for unauthorised charges as a matter of course." If you want to stop receiving scam and nuisance calls or think you may be receiving them, visit cprcallblocker.com for advice and information.