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Monday, 25 October 2021

Fraud prevention advice ahead of lockdown


Bedfordshire Police is working with partners across the country to help keep your vulnerable family members and friends safe

Ahead of the planned increase of restrictions, Bedfordshire Police would like to encourage people with elderly and vulnerable family members and friends to familiarise themselves with available crime prevention materials.

Criminals are always looking to exploit unexpecting victims and scam them out of their savings. The force is encouraging residents to make sure their vulnerable family members know what to do if they are being targeted by a fraudster.

Detective Chief Inspector Elaine Cook, the force’s lead for safeguarding vulnerable adults, said:

“We all have family members and friends we care deeply for. Unfortunately, we cannot always be there for them to make sure they are not being targeted by criminals.

“We would like to encourage everyone to speak to their friends and family and share this message with as many people as possible.

“Please print out the materials, explain them to your close ones and display the reminder next to the telephone where is clearly visible. This can save you and your family financial loss after being targeted by fraudsters.”

Fraudsters use a number of techniques and scams to persuade victims to handing over their personal information, bank details or money through bank transactions, or in cash.

Criminals will introduce themselves as police officers, bank employees or government officials in order to trick the victim.

A genuine police officer, bank or government employee will never:

  • Ask for your personal financial information over the phone
  • Invite you to make purchases either over the phone, online or in person
  • Ask you to move money from your account
  • Collect or arrange to collect money from your address
  • Instruct you not to tell anyone about what they are asking you to do, or instruct you to lie to other officials about what you are doing

Remember to always check the caller’s credentials.

The crime prevention materials are available to download and print from the Bedfordshire Police website.

If you or someone you know have been targeted please follow this advice:

  • If you take a call from someone who you believe is not genuine, hang up, and contact either Action Fraud or the police. Where possible use a different phone to make the call, in case the fraudulent caller is still on the line
  • If you do give your details to someone who you later believe is not credible, it’s important that you contact the bank immediately
  • If you have any information or would like to report a crime, please call 101, or use Bedfordshire Police’s online reporting tool

If you have been affected by crime, the Signpost Hub offers free and confidential support to victims in Bedfordshire, whether it has been reported to police or not, and irrespective of where and when the crime occurred.

Contact 0800 0282887 or visit Signpost for Bedfordshire for further information.

John Guinn
I am the editor of The Flitwick Chronicle. This is an independent, local news service based in Bedfordshire. The Chronicle provides local news that is investigative, inclusive and relevant to the residents of Flitwick.

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