Who are the scammers and how do they operate? Our speaker on Wednesday 24 March was Ash Jones MBE the Regional Fraud Protect Advisor for South West Regional Organised Crime Unit for Avon and Somerset Police. Ash set out to tell us about the scams that are all around us. And he shared a number of techniques we can use to stop us from becoming victims of these scammers.
Amazingly the scammers take £7 billion off us every year. These guys are professionals many have degrees in marketing. The scammers are extremely sophisticated operators, who are constantly watching for new opportunities to relieve you of your hard-earned money.
So why are the scammers so successful?
Different scams are operated depending on what is concerning people at any given time. The pandemic and now Brexit has launched a wave of sophisticated scams. These may include demands for fees for goods you may have ordered now attracting import duties. Too many online scams purport to be people we normally trust. These include HMRC, your bank may be even warning you national insurance detail have been stolen. Some even involve the police. The scammer says they are the police and want your help in identifying a thief within your bank. To help them you must take out money from your bank, and after parcelling it give it to a courier who will collect it from your home. The scam is that the police will then be able to apprehend the courier after he leaves your premises as well as find out who the internal thief is.
Online dating sites are prone to scammers. These conmen are often active around Valentine’s Day. For example, you might be seeking romance however they are looking for someone gullible enough to give them a temporary loan Other schemes include winning a world lotteries prize. To get the money the scammer asks for your bank details so they can pay into your bank account! Others require a fee to release the funds to you in the UK. As Ash said if it seems too good to be true it is
“Fraud makes up a third of all reported crime, yet as much as 80% of fraud can be prevented by taking simple steps. We discussed the extent of fraud in today’s society and shared the steps we need to take to remain safe from scams and shysters”Ash Jones MBE