residents told: 'Don't get caught out by these scams'
and Highbridge residents have this week been urged by local Police
not to fall victim to scams operating in the area.
say they have seen a number of incidents across Somerset where elderly
and vulnerable people have been victim to unscrupulous criminals
who target them specifically.
prey on the elderly as they are unfortunately more likely to fall
for internet or online fraud and are more likely to say 'yes' if
someone knocks on the door or cold calls them on the phone,"
says Police spokeswoman Miriam Brown.
recent months in Somerset we have seen cold-callers selling over-priced
cleaning products, rogue traders forcing elderly people to take
them to the bank to withdraw large sums for half-completed jobs,
distraction burglars coning their way into homes pretending to be
from utility companies or collecting magazine subscriptions, online
email scams and even scammers calling people to ask for cash pretending
to be police officers."
criminals are really clever and creative and its not just
the elderly, vulnerable and the less 'tech-savvy' that are taken
in. We are all at risk of online fraud."
the signs of a fraud, scam, distraction burglar or rogue trader
is half the battle - and Police say there are signs to help you
identify a fraud, scam or con and protect yourself. Here are some
You receive an email from a stranger saying you have won money.
Be warned - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
HMRC or a bank send an email asking you to confirm bank
details or send money to sort out a problem. Your bank will already
have your details. Its probably a scam.
A cold caller knocks on the door saying they need to come in to
check something or that there is a problem with the roof/boiler/drains
etc. They could be a distraction burglar.
A cold caller offers goods or services on the doorstep without providing
a quote in writing. They might be offering work you dont need
at inflated prices. Its better to commission work as and when
you need it and to get quotes in writing.
Someone claiming to be from the police calls and asks for bank details
or to send cash as there is a problem with your account. Dont
give them anything. We would never ask you for money or bank details.
Someone claiming to be from Microsoft or another online company
calls asking for your login details and password. They want to gain
access to your computer or tablet.
adds: "We understand that this sounds rather alarming but the
good news is that there are some very simple but effective things
you can do to protect yourself from this type of crime. Firstly
- if you arent sure, dont open the door. Just say no
and turn them away. Online, if you get an unsolicited email asking
for bank details just delete it and dont reply. The same with
phone calls, if someone calls asking for money, bank details or
access to your computer just hang up. It might seem rude but by
just by saying no, you can avoid becoming a victim of
Superintendent Ian Wylie, District Commander for Somerset, adds:
"These criminals purposefully target the elderly and vulnerable.
The impact of their crimes isnt just financial loss, for many
it can have a detrimental effect emotionally, mentally and in some
elderly we victims we speak to say they feel embarrassed and ashamed,
and they shouldnt. These criminals are sophisticated and creative
with their lies. But there are ways we can work together to stop
it from happening in the first place. Prevention is better than
talk to any elderly or vulnerable people you know. Help them to
understand some of the ways of recognising scams and frauds, and
the simple steps they can take to minimise the risk of becoming