POLICE would advise members of the public to always err on the side of caution with any text, call, email or letter asking for payment or personal details in order to release money, refund fees, pay lottery wins or supply a holiday, giveaway or service.
Scammers are inventive and can be very convincing, but each scam is designed to tempt you to drop your guard. Police would stress that if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is - don’t fall for it!
Stop and think - if you haven’t recently challenged your bills or bank fees then why expect an offer of a refund, particularly over the phone with nothing in writing? If you haven’t entered a competition for a holiday or if you haven’t entered a foreign lottery, then how would it be possible for you to have won a prize? If you haven’t inquired about PPI payments or insurance following a car accident then why would someone be contacting you about it?
Always guard your personal and banking details and never disclose them to any unauthorised person. Also, be extremely cautious before releasing any kind of ‘fee’ in response to an unsolicited text, call, email or letter. If you have received a contact of this kind or are concerned by the intent of a financial promise, report it to police on the non-emergency telephone 0845 600 8000.
If you are a victim of fraudulent activity this can be reported to Action Fraud at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/home or telephone 0300 123 2040. Action Fraud is an organisation supported by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) - www.nfib.police.uk - whereby the public can report any fraudulent activity. This can be done at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.
The Action Fraud web site will also give you information on different types of fraud currently being committed and crime prevention advice for this.