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Sussex Police Fraud Newsletter April 2020

Alert message sent 24/04/2020 12:18:00

Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police



Keep your money safe.

Each month we see many incidents of fraudsters targeting our residents in an attempt to defraud them. We’re working hard to prevent this and support vulnerable victims
of fraud or scams. By following our tips and encouraging family, friends and colleagues to do so too, you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Richardson, Surrey & Sussex Police Economic Crime Unit

Keep your money safe from scammers. Our advice is to:
  • Watch out for scam messages – don’t click on the links in suspicious emails and don’t respond to unsolicited messages. 
  • Remember – the Government will not be texting people to enforce lockdown guidelines. Don’t fall for this trick.
  • Be careful when shopping online and avoid companies you don’t recognise. Carry out your research and ask a family member or friend if you’re unsure.
  • Protect your devices from the latest threats by making sure your software is up to date.

HMRC and TV licensing fraud

We’ve seen HMRC and TV licensing fraud attempts creep up, as scammers are trying to exploit the elderly.

An 84-year-old victim from North Surrey was contacted by phone by someone claiming to be from HMRC. They said he owed £3,000 and had to transfer the amount over or he would
face going to court.
The victim was told paperwork would be brought to his address later on in the day to confirm this was all paid for.
The victim attended his local Barclays branch and asked to send £3000 to the given account details. Thankfully bank staff recognised this scam and called in banking protocol
preventing any money from being sent to the suspect.

Meanwhile in East Sussex, a 94-year-old woman received an email relating to her TV Licencing which said she needed to renew her direct debit details as they were soon to
expire. Thankfully the victim recognised this scam as she does not have to pay for her TV licence and raised the scam to the police.

Fortunately, neither of the victims lost any money. Let’s keep it that way. If anyone cold calls you and says they’re from TV Licensing, HMRC, or anyone else for that matter,
please remember our advice:
  • Never give money to anyone you don't know or trust
  • Check people are who they say they are
  • Don't share your personal information
  • Make decisions in your own time

Purse and wallet theft at supermarkets

There have been a number of cases of purses and wallets being taken from victims while they’re at the supermarket in Surrey.
Luckily the victims were quickly notified of unusual transactions by their banks and able to quickly block their cards.

Remember:
  • Keep your valuables close to you at all times.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings.

How you can help us

If you or someone you know is vulnerable and has been a victim of fraud call:
Sussex Police on 101 or visit www.sussex.police.uk
Report fraud or attempted fraud, by contacting Action Fraud at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or call 0300 123 2040

Where can I find more information?
  • Suspicious E-mail: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/suspicious-email-actions
  • Remote Working: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/home-working
  • Advice & Guidance: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/section/advice-guidance/all-topics 
  • Government Advice: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
  • NHS Advice: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19
  • Sussex Police Crime Advice on Fraud & Scams: https://www.sussex.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/

Kind regards,
Prevention Support Team.
Message sent by
Sarah Donaldson-Alldis (Police, Prevention Support & Engagement Officer, Sussex)

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