~~Telephone Fraud – Avoid becoming a Victim
There are certain crimes that tend to affect the more vulnerable members of our community than most. These include distraction burglary, rogue traders, fraud and scams. This article will focus on the latter, this first article covering telephone fraud. I will however be providing further information on the afore mentioned in future newsletters.
In simple terms, fraud is when:
• A criminal uses dishonest methods to take something valuable from another person
• A person pretends to be someone else in order to trick you
• Something that is meant to look like the real thing in order to deceive.
Your home is where you should feel safe, criminals, however can find their way into your life even when you are in your home when you are least expecting it. The good news is that we can all take some simple steps to help us not becoming a victim of telephone fraud.
Older people are regularly targeted by criminals via their telephone, nearly £24m was lost to phone scams in 2014, following these tips below will help prevent you becoming a victim.
• Be careful if a company calls you to discuss your investments, they will be happy to spend time talking about the shares you own or have held previously. They may build up your trust in them … but one evening may ring with an excellent opportunity too good to miss and you have to act fast to get this great deal. Keep calm and hang up, do not give in to pressure and never invest without carrying out research.
• Criminals call pretending to be from you bank or building society or police claiming a fraudulent payment has been spotted on your card or you credit card has been cloned. They may ask for your card pin number and to ring back. Do not give this out and do not call back, put the phone down and inform the police.
• You receive a call from Microsoft or other large IT company informing you that your computer has a virus. You are asked to download software onto your machine to fix it and then provide your card details. Keep calm, hang up. Keep your anti-virus software up to date, warn other about the call.
• A call from a charity asking if you will donate to their cause by setting up a direct debit, not necessarily a fraud attempt but more a nuisance call perhaps. If you do agree then you will receive further calls asking for more money. Never give your card details out over the phone.
Devices called ‘Call Blockers’ are available to purchase, some are better than others, one of the best is called ‘True Call’ and used by many Trading Standards departments. Details can be found on the web link attached: http://www.truecall.co.uk/ or by ringing 0800 0 336 339
Register with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), it will not stop all unwanted calls but will reduce the number you receive, details can be found by ringing 020 7291 3320 or visiting: http://www.tpsonline.org.uk/tps/index.html
Contact your telephone provider, some provide an additional call blocking service for a small additional monthly fee
Some newer telephones you can now purchase has the ‘True Call’ device pre-installed
Mobile phone ‘Apps’ are available, some free, some for a few pounds that act as a nuisance call blocker, they are available for both Android and I Phone devices.
Rogue Traders are people pretending to be builders or “qualified” trades men or women needing to do 'urgent' repairs or sales people offering bargain products.
• They often pressurise householders to make quick decisions to have work done, pay in advance for materials or do poor work at highly inflated prices and usually ask for cash payment
• They will often cold call on vulnerable households and deliberately overcharge for unsatisfactory goods and services. This can include charging for unnecessary work, damaging property deliberately in order to obtain money, leaving work unfinished and intimidating householders
• Victims of this practice are often vulnerable or elderly and in the most serious cases, offenders will return to the same victim again and again until their savings are exhausted
Property Repairs or Maintenance Problems
• You can reduce the risk of falling victim to a rogue trader or poor repairs buy using trades people recommended by family and friends. If you do decide work need doing, always obtain at least 3 quotes and make sure the quote you accept is in writing
• Ask traders to provide you with written contact details and ask about insurance backed guarantees
• Close and lock your back door before answering the front door
• Use a spy hole, chain or window to have a look at the caller before answering the door. If you do not recognise them speak through the closed and locked door
• Never buy goods and services from people calling unexpectedly or unannounced at your door
• If the caller is selling something or offering work on your house or garden tell them that you are not interested and ask them to leave
• If they do not leave tell them you will call the police
• Ask for details of previous satisfied customers and contact them, go and see the work carried out if you can for further peace of mind
• If you are having problems with someone carrying out repairs or maintenance on your home, contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040506
• If you feel you have been a victim of a rogue trader please inform the police by ringing 101.
~~There are certain crimes that tend to affect the more vulnerable members of our community than most. These include distraction burglary, rogue traders, fraud and scams. This article will focus on the latter, hopefully the advice provided will raise awareness of the methods used by criminals to commit fraud and help prevent you becoming a victim.
Fraud is when trickery is used to gain a dishonest advantage, which is often financial, over another person.
Older people are regularly targeted by criminals via their telephone, nearly £24m was lost to phone scams in 2014. Unsolicited cold calling is unfortunately quite a common crime with older people targeted the most.
Some tips to prevent becoming a victim of this crime include:
Never give out personal details on the telephone, especially bank details, banks will never ask for these over the phone.
Register with the telephone preference service, this will not stop all unwanted calls but will reduce the number you receive – details can be found on the following link or ring 0345 070 0707
Devices called ‘Call Blockers’ are available top purchase, many claim to block mall unwanted calls, one of the best is called ‘True Call’ and used by many Trading Standards Departments, details can be found on the following web link http://www.truecall.co.uk/ or ring 0800 0 336 330 to request further information. Alternatively contact your telephone service provider, some provide this type of service for a small monthly fee.
If you continue to unwanted calls from a particular business or charity inform them you wish to be taken off there register or you will report them to the Telephone Preference Service
Home is where an older person should feel the safest. Scammers, however have found a way to invade the secure lives of seniors by targeting older people’s post, the internet and telephone, as well as unsecured documents.
Through the provision of this information, we aim to raise awareness of the risks facing older people so that we can do everything we can to prevent these distressing and devastating crimes.
The growing incidents of scams involving older people is putting many seniors at risk, threatening to strip them of their assets, their independence and their trust. That’s why the Home Instead Senior Care network has launched its Senior Fraud Protection public education programme and created this Toolkit.
Our aim is to inform you about fraud involving older people and to give you tools and tips to help you avoid being affected by this distressing criminal activity
Elderly people are being targeted with a new telephone scam that involves con men posing as bank staff or police, a fraud watchdog has warned.
The fraud, which has cost victims £7m in a year, is difficult to detect when well-executed, Financial Fraud Action UK said.
The criminals instruct the victim to disclose credit and debit card information before emptying the person’s bank accounts.