Police investigating a number of incidents where elderly victims have been defrauded of tens of thousands of pounds, are urging residents of North Yorkshire to be vigilant.
In 2016, there were 2,467 reported incidents of fraud across North Yorkshire. In more than 1,000 of those cases, the victim was aged 70 years or over.
A number of these incidents such as computer software service fraud, advance fee frauds, pension fraud and timeshares and holiday club fraud, will have been facilitated by the victim being scammed via telephone.
Police say fraudsters will call, claiming to be from a legitimate organisation such as a bank, service provider, utilities company or the police, in an attempt to convince the victim to reveal financial information or to transfer money into a third party account operated by criminals.
The fraudster often supplies a fake number for the victim to ring back on or in many cases the actual number of the organisations genuine customer reporting line, however the fraudster keeps the line open and the victim rings back believing they are speaking to a genuine operative and discloses the information.
Officers recommend some simple security measures you need to take to remain vigilant against this type of crime, such as:
- Always make sure the person who has called you is genuine
- Never give personal or financial details over the telephone without checking the caller is genuine and you have gone through security checks
- Just because someone has called you do not mean you have to speak to them - you can call back in your own time and checked some security details
- Don’t call back unknown telephone numbers
- Hang up on suspicious callers and wait 30 seconds for the line to clear
- Make a list of the important telephone numbers you need so that you can call back and check the call is genuine
- Before committing to doing anything which involves proving personal details or a financial transaction, discuss it with a family member or friend
Detective Chief Inspector Jon Hodgeon, Head of Fraud and Economic Crime at North Yorkshire Police, said: