Quickly exit this site by pressing the Escape key Leave this site
This site is a beta, which means it's a work in progress and we'll be adding more to it over the next few weeks. Your feedback helps us make things better, so please let us know what you think.
Through December, West Mercia Police and the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, will be sharing a national campaign to highlight the types of fraud that are most likely to put the public at risk in the run up to Christmas.
The ’12 Days of Fraud’ will cover a range of topics from romance fraud to shopping fraud and will underline the key ways we can call keep safe.
Detective Chief Inspector Tony Garner, from West Mercia Police’s Cyber Crime Unit, said: “These organised crime gangs who are targeting our communities with fraud need to know that we are wise to them and are actively investigating them.
“By alerting the public to the dangers and risks of not challenging some of these types of fraud we can collectively push back on those who are looking to exploit those who are vulnerable to such scams.
“For example, Romance Fraud, while to many of us seeming to be an obvious and fairly transparent crime, is bitterly painful for those who fall foul of it.
“In September, we recorded twelve victims in West Mercia who were conned by men who tricked the victims into thinking they in a relationship. Suspects invest significant amounts of time into socially engineering their victims – knowing that as they gain the victim’s trust, their chances of extracting considerable funds from them simultaneously increase.
“Fraudsters do not initially ask the victims for money; instead, they spend time communicating with them online and building trust. By the time they ask for large sums of money, the reasons for requiring financial assistance have greater plausibility. This is known as the ‘grooming period’.
“Typically, the longer the period between the date of first contact and the date of the first financial transfer, the higher the amount of money handed over.
“Our investigations have shown that a high proportion of victims are lonely, widowed or recently bereaved, have suffered from a recent break up and/or suffering from depression.
“The financial losses are high and victims can often be in denial, making self-reporting low and repeat victimisation likely.
“With Christmas fast approaching and with people looking to save money at what is a challenging time for us all, Online Shopping Fraud saw more than 90 people fall foul of scams in September. While it is hard to spot sometimes, there are some simple staps we can all take to better protect ourselves:
“One of the things we can all do is talk to each other more about these types of fraud. For some people, they may be new to using the internet for shopping, our vulnerable at home and at risk from telephone frauds such as Courier Fraud, which is when someone pretends to be from the police and instructs you to withdraw cash and give to a courier.
“Make sure you let your elderly and vulnerable friends, family and neighbours what to look out for and together we can break the cycle of fraud.”
Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion, said: “Cyber crime costs the UK economy £190billion each year but the impact on communities is more than financial – it can have a long lasting emotional impact. I am committed to ensuring the police have the resources to tackle the growing threat of cyber crime, and that the support is there for victims. Awareness and education is key, and I encourage the public to follow the advice to keep themselves safe this Christmas and beyond.”
DCI Tony Garner joined PCC John Campion in the latest episode of the Safer West Mercia Podcast to discuss Cyber Crime. Listen here: https://www.westmercia-pcc.gov.uk/safer-west-mercia-podcast/ or watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/aKqXabqmzlo
Been a victim of crime? The following services provide support and advice: https://www.westmercia-pcc.gov.uk/your-pcc/helping-victims/
Issued by RJ, Corporate Communications