Northamptonshire Police is supporting the launch of a major new campaign designed to tackle financial fraud.
The campaign - Take Five - aims to put consumers and businesses back in control with straight-forward advice to help prevent financial fraud and encourage people to take a moment. It is designed to remind people that it pays to “stop and think”.
The campaign is asking everyone to help protect themselves from financial fraud by remembering some simple advice:
1. Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full password - it’s never okay to reveal these details.
2. Don’t assume an email request or caller is genuine - people aren’t always who they say they are.
3. Don’t be rushed – a genuine bank or organisation won’t mind waiting to give you time to stop and think.
4. Listen to your instincts – if something feels wrong then it is usually right to pause and question it.
5. Stay in control – have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for information.
50 Robberies and Distraction Burglary within County since January 2016 - Northamptonshire Police Community Connect 18 March 2016
We’re urging people to take extra care with their home security and reminding them never to open their door to any callers they are not expecting. The advice comes following a number of burglaries and robberies at the homes of elderly people across the county, where force or distraction techniques have been used to break in and steal property.
More than 50 robberies and distraction burglaries involving victims aged 65 and over have been reported since 1 January this year. While the majority of these have happened in the Northampton area, incidents have also been reported in other parts of the county, including Kettering and Wellingborough.
Public support is really important and we’re asking people to help elderly relatives, friends and neighbours. Please help those you care about to check their home is as secure as possible and remind them never open the door to anyone they’re not expecting – whoever they say they are. Anyone calling in an official capacity will understand.
Please also report anything suspicious or call us if you have any information about who may be involved in these offences – either call 101 or the Doorstep crime Action Network hotline 0345 23 07 702.
Here is some important advice to share with elderly or vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours:
Make sure you can see who is at the door before you answer it. Where possible fit a spy-hole to identify callers. Alternatively talk to them through an adjacent window
Don’t feel pressured into opening the door. Don’t feel you are being rude, genuine callers won’t mind. If you’re not sure, don’t open the door
Set up passwords with your utility companies – genuine callers will need to recite this password to you
Don’t use telephone numbers on ID cards – if the person isn’t genuine the ID and the telephone number won't be either. Obtain telephone numbers direct from the phone directory. Alternatively make a list of your important numbers and keep them near the phone
If someone is knocking on the door saying they are the police, call 101 and check the identity with the police control room. In an emergency call 999
Look out for those who are vulnerable within your family or neighbourhood
If you have any suspicions or concerns that doorstep rogue traders or distraction burglars are operating in your community or targeting someone you know, please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated doorstep crime hotline: 0345 23 07 702
Distraction burglars or ‘bogus callers’ will call at a house with the intention of tricking their way inside to steal money and/ or other valuables. They may be smartly dressed and claim to be from the water board, the council, the police, health organisations or charities
They may say they need to turn off the water because of a leak, use the phone because their car has broken down, or perhaps say they have lost a pet. The caller may be a man, a woman or even a child and they will use any story they can to try and gain access to the property
Message from Daventry District Council regarding hoax call reports - 7 May 2015
Please be aware that we have been receiving reports from residents of a hoax caller claiming to be from Daventry District Council. A number of people have contacted us after receiving a phone call on Thursday, 7 May from a man claiming to be from Daventry District Council and calling about the NHS. The man is described as speaking with a foreign accent and calls on a withheld number. This person does not represent the Council and anyone who receives such a call should under no circumstances give out personal or financial information to the caller. Phone calls from Daventry District Council are not withheld and will be displayed as 01327 871100. If you are unsure about a caller claiming to be from DDC, please contact the Council to verify the identity of a Council Official by calling the main number on 01327 871100.
DAVENTRY DISTRICT COUNCIL – 14 OCTOBER 2014 – HOAX CALLS
Please be aware that we have been receiving reports from residents of a hoax caller claiming to be from Daventry District Council.
Several people have contacted us after receiving a phone call today (Tuesday, October 14) from a man calling himself Mike from Daventry District Council and claiming to be investigating recent accidents on behalf of the NHS. The man is described as speaking with a foreign accent and calls on a withheld number.
We have published a news update on the website and on social media informing the public that this person does not represent the Council and anyone who receives such a call should under no circumstances give out personal or financial information to the caller.
NB if appropriate you can contact the Council to verify the identity of a Council Official by calling the main number on 01327 871100.
BEWARE OF EMAIL CONTAINING VIRUS
Published on Friday 23 May 2014
A scam email containing a virus that will make your computer unsafe is circulating and people are being urged not to fall victim.
The email subject heading is usually ‘Hearing of your case in court’ or similar and arrives from an email address with the format “(customercare/admin)@(random place)Lawyers.com”, with an attachment entitled “notice of attendance in court.zip/exe”.
The body of the email usually involves the text below:
“Notice of Appearance,
The copy of the court notice is attached to this letter.
If you do not attend the hearing the judge may hear the case in your absence.
Clerk to the Court,
It is believed this email contains a virus that remains hidden when opened and sends out personal details abroad.
Anyone who receives such an email is advised to delete it immediately without opening it.
If you believe you may have already had such an email and don’t already have anti-virus software then it is advised to do so as soon as possible and not use the machine for any sensitive activity until you have.
Residents warned over telephone sales
Northamptonshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service is warning residents about telephone sales.
Trading Standards has been contacted by consumers who have received unsolicited telephone calls from companies offering to install security systems.
Initial contact is made by telephone cold-calling residents to arrange an appointment; however although the security system may be free or available at a nominal cost, the ongoing maintenance costs are high and there may be a cancellation fee.
Trading Standards advise that consumers should not purchase security systems, or any other goods or services from businesses that are cold-calling either on the telephone or at the door.
Instead, consumers who are considering investing in an alarm system should obtain quotes from at least three security companies who are subject to independent inspection by a recognised body, either NSI (The National Security Inspectorate) or SSAIB (Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board) or who are members of the Buy With Confidence scheme.
The Buy with Confidence scheme is a Trading Standards trader approval scheme where all members have been stringently vetted to check for legal compliance. The scheme has members from all trade sectors. Details of members can be found by visiting:
telephone 0300 126 1000
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, any consumers who are concerned about a caller at their door or suspect that distraction burglars or rogue traders are operating in their area should call the dedicated Doorstep crime Action Network (DAN) on:
0345 23 07 702.
Consumers should remember that “If you’re not sure, don’t open the door”.
Don’t fall prey to con artists (Northants Police 22 Jan 2014)
People across Northamptonshire are being urged to think smart when it comes to con artists and not fall for their charms.
During the course of last weekend there were five incidents where elderly people were tricked by con artists into giving away their bank details. In one case the victim handed over £3,000.
Police are reminding people that, under no circumstances, should they give their bank details to anyone who has phoned them, no matter who they claim to be.
In a number of instances offenders have claimed to be police officers who are investigating a fraud and ask for the victims’ card and bank details so they can check with the bank. They also tell the victims they will send a courier to pick up their bank card and any cash they may have recently withdrawn, in case it is counterfeit.
Another ploy used by the criminals is to persuade the victims to make an online transfer of cash.
Bryan Pye from the fraud and financial investigation team of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, said: “We want people to be aware of these cons so they don’t fall for the charms of the people at the other end of the phone line when they call.
“Many of the victims of this type of crime are elderly and it can be very distressing for them.
“In no circumstances will police officers call you and ask for your bank details. And in no circumstances do we ever use couriers to collect evidence from victims of crime.
“Likewise, your bank will not phone and ask you for your bank details – they already have them.
“Our advice is to hang up the phone if someone starts asking you for your card or bank details and call 101 to report it to us.
“Don’t worry about offending the other person at the end of the phone - they won’t worry about taking your money.”
If people are concerned they are a genuine caller and their bank account has been accessed they are encouraged to visit their bank in person.
If there have been illegal transactions on an account then the bank will have put a stop on the card so no more money can be withdrawn, while an investigation takes place.
Mr Pye added: “In some cases the con men told the victim to hang up and call them back, so they can be reassured they are genuine. This is part of the con. The offender will keep the phone line open at their end so when the victim makes the phone call, they go straight back through to them.
“For this reason we are telling people who are worried about any calls they may have received to visit their bank to check their account or to call from another phone line.”
Police issue phone scam warning
Police are issuing crime prevention advice following 12 reports of a phone scam which took place in the county on Sunday 5 January between 1pm and 7pm.
The scam involves a caller attempting to encourage people to part with bank details, including pin numbers. Police are urging people not to part with this information.
During the scam the offender calls the resident, purporting to be a police officer investigating a fraud on their bank account, a fraud investigator from a bank or other bank official. They then ask for account information, including their card numbers, security number and pin number.
If the resident becomes suspicious, the offender suggests that they call 999 or 101 and ask for confirmation that the person is a police officer.
The victim then calls police, but doesn’t realise that the offender has not hung up so goes straight through to them again. In some cases another offender comes on the line and pretends to be working in the police control room and states that they can verify the officer’s details.
The caller is then transferred back through to the first offender who obtains all their details.
In some cases the criminals have sent couriers immediately to the victim’s property to pick up their cards which are then used fraudulently.
In two other incidents the suspect caller, again pretending to be a police officer, stated that they had the victim's two grandchildren in custody who had been caught using the caller's credit or bank card.
The offenders are deliberately targeting older victims.
For non urgent incidents please report to Action Fraud, the central reporting and recording system for fraud, on 0300 123 2040 or online at: www.actionfraud.police.uk