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 Fraud and Finance 850x400

What is fraud?

Fraud occurs when someone gains something or attempts to gain something of value, usually money or property, from a victim by knowingly making a misrepresentation.

Someone’s conduct must be dishonest, their intentions must be to make a gain, cause a loss or risk of loss to another, but no gain or loss needs to actually take place for the offence to be complete.

Covid-19 Advice

How should the elderly and vulnerable protect themselves from fraudsters coming door to door?

Being a good neighbour is important, and communities are rallying around to support each other. However, there may be those who seek to exploit the situation also.

Volunteers working with the health and emergency services will be in possession of the necessary DBS arrangements before commencing placements and will be assigned to roles where indemnity cover is in place. They should all have documentation proving their status.

Community volunteering to provide assistance to those most vulnerable in meeting their daily needs will also be likely in the coming months. If people have doubts about those who are approaching them, and are concerned, we advise that they don't engage and report serious suspicious behaviour to police. The majority of groups are well intentioned, and will be working through charities or through a local authority and should have proof that they are doing so.

There is additional information and updates regarding fraud on the Action Fraud website.

How should people protect themselves from online fraud?

Watch out for scam messages: Dont click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.

Shopping Online: If you're making a purchase from a company or person you don't know and trust, carry out some research first, and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, as most major credit card providers insure online purchases.

There is additional information and updates regarding fraud on the Action Fraud website.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a key priority for businesses to protect themselves against.

This form of malicious software prevents you from accessing your computer, suspects normally requesting you make a payment (the ransom) to unlock it. Such attacks can have a devestating impact on business, more so in these times as businesses, their IT companies and the wider security industry may have less capacity to respond to these attacks with staff being abstracted or self-isolated.

It is vital companies make regular backups of important files that are not connected directly to the network or their devices. Keep your operating systems and apps updated and ensure you use anti-virus software, keep it turned on and up to date.

You should always report any such attack on your company.

For further information please click here

Common types of Fraud

The Fraud Act 2006 includes the following offences:

Section 2 Fraud by False Representation

Section 3 Fraud by failing to disclose information

Section 4 Fraud by abuse of position

Common types of Fraud in Cumbria include:

Phishing

Don't click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages. This can lead to malicious software being installed on your computer and the loss of your personal data or control of your online accounts and emails.

Always take a moment to think why you  have received that email, were you expecting it, why has it come to you. If it feels wrong, it probably is so delete it.

For further information please click here

Investments Scams

Cold calls, which are normally made by telephone, victims are persuaded to invest money by callers who use high pressure sales techniques. Investments do not exist or are worthless. Callers may have details of previous investments made or shares held by the victim and often know personal details. Victims can lose their life savings within a few hours.

Purporting to be someone else

Cold calls normally by telephone from people who claim to be working for an agency such as the Police, HMIC, a bank, or similar. Victims are led to believe that their money is at risk or that they owe money. They are persuaded into withdrawing money, transferring money into “safe accounts” or purchasing ITunes vouchers in order to pass the serial numbers of them over to the offender.

Door to door scams

Scammers claim to be a legitimate business or tradespeople; they falsely inform victims that work needs to be carried out at their home address and may gain entry in order to steal. Victims often are billed for work that they didn’t want, didn’t agree to, or which has never been completed.

Dating and romance scams

Offenders lower a victim’s defences by building an online relationship in order to obtain personal information and to obtain money. Offenders normally steer a victim away from communicating on a legitimate website, they will use a variety of scenarios to target a person’s emotions and ask that the relationship is kept secret. Money is often sent abroad.

Action Fraud

Action Fraud have provided a useful “A-Z of fraud” which helps to clarify which fraud you may have been affected by. The types of fraud have been categorised into an alphabetical list which can be opened individually and which provide a brief definition of each offence. 

Get Safe Online

Get Safe Online raises awareness about helping to protect people, finances, devices and businesses from fraud, abuse and other issues which are encountered online. The site provides practical advice and guidance and will assist in keeping you safe when online.

How to report:

If you are a victim of fraud that is a crime in progress and you need an immediate police response dial 999.

If you think that you have been the victim of a fraud and it is a non-emergency situation report this to the Cumbria Constabulary on 101 and to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or by visiting their website http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/  

Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre.

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