Keep your money safe

Sussex Police fraud newsletter – November 2016Scams are fraud and fraud is crime, report it – this is our message for Sussex residents.

Each month, we see criminals targeting people across the county by phone, email and face to face in an attempt to defraud them. These ‘fraudsters’ are criminals who chose to prey on some of our most vulnerable people and they specifically target the elderly. Operation Signature is our answer, working together with our partners to prevent fraud and identify and support our most vulnerable victims.

By its very nature, fraud is constantly evolving and taking on new forms. But be assured that, by following our tips in this newsletter and encouraging family, friends and colleagues to do so too, you will reduce the risk of becoming a victim.

Detective Chief Inspector Tracy Edwards, Operation Signature, Sussex Police

Warning for residents to steer clear of fake call blocking services

We’re warning Sussex residents to be cautious of cold callers offering relief from nuisance phone calls. We’ve received reports of fraudulent sales calls encouraging householders to subscribe to costly call blocking or telephone preference services, charging a monthly fee.

However, the services offered will not block any unwanted calls, and could place personal information in the hands of criminals. For genuine call blocking and telephone preference services, residents are advised to sign up to the free Telephone Preference Service (www.tpsonline.org.uk) which offers one level of protection. Call blocking devices approved by ‘Secured by Design’, such as trueCall devices (www.truecall.co.uk), are also available. For more details click here. ‘Think Random’ when picking a password

Do you use the same password for many online accounts? When creating a password, do you include details that may be easy for hackers to find out, such as your birthday or family member names?

The government is urging people to ‘think random’ for their latest campaign on cyber security.

To create a strong password, pick three unrelated words and use different passwords for accounts, especially online banking, social media and email accounts.

Rogue traders continue to target Sussex residents     We continue to receive reports of rogue traders operating in Sussex. Rogue traders often offer gardening work or maintenance services at attractive rates but the quality of work is substandard, unnecessary or overpriced. In a recent case, a resident of Wealden was conned out of £200 for gutter clearance he didn’t need. Anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of any doorstep offender should contact Sussex Police by calling 101 or emailing 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk. If you think a rogue trader is at your door, call 999.

Looking for Christmas bargains online? Don’t let your guard down

The online deals are hotting up as Christmas approaches, and you may have noticed lots of adverts and emails offering discounts – some of which sound too good to miss. Be wary of fraudsters using enticing tactics to get hold of your personal details with these tips:  Take Five before you buy. If you’re using a retailer for the first time, always take time to research them before you give them any of your details.   Trust your instincts – if an offer looks too good to believe then there is usually a catch. Be suspicious of prices that are too good to be true  Be sure you know who you are dealing with. Always access the website you are planning to buy from by typing the address into your web browser, and be wary of clicking on links in unsolicited emails  Look for the padlock symbol in the address bar. It’s a good indication that they’re reputable  Only use retailers you trust, for example ones you know or have been recommended to you.

Remember: banks and police will NEVER call and ask you to transfer funds to a new account, NEVER collect your cards from your home, NEVER ask you to buy high value goods and NEVER ask you to hand over cards or money.

Keep your money safe with these tips:  Check people are who they say they are. Not sure? Don’t open the door!  Never send or give money to people you don’t know or trust  Remember to protect your identity – don’t share your personal information with unexpected callers  Beware of email and computer scams. Treat all emails from unknown senders with suspicion and never click on links within them  Never share your PIN number or enter your PIN into a telephone  If in doubt, phone a relative, friend or someone you know personally  Remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably fraud.

If you suspect someone you know may be vulnerable to fraud, please share this newsletter with them and encourage them to look at the ‘Little Book of Scams’,  http://tinyurl.com/z8khtgh.

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   If you need to a report fraud or attempted fraud, contact Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by calling 0300 123 2040. You can also read the latest Action Fraud alerts at www.actionfraud.police.uk/news or by following @actionfrauduk on Twitter. Check latest information online at www.getsafeonline.org