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Paul Winter guest column: Do not fall for credit card fraud

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jonathan Hordle / Rex Features (521938as)
Credit / Debit card fraud illustration
VARIOUS

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jonathan Hordle / Rex Features (521938as) Credit / Debit card fraud illustration VARIOUS

 

You may have seen the warning we issued recently after a credit card fraudster targeted residents in Mansfield.

We received several reports of people having been contacted by a man claiming to be a police officer.

In all the incidents the bogus officer said he was investigating credit card fraud and needed to verify their account number before trying to arrange for a courier to collect their bank card.

One person in Nottinghamshire was duped into handing over their card. I want to ensure no one else falls victim to this scam.

No matter how plausible a person sounds on the end of the phone, a police force would never send a courier to collect your bank card, even if investigating an incident of fraud.

Please be protective of your bank details, don’t read them out before verifying a person’s credentials and if you have even the slightest concern, hang up and call us. But before you do make sure the conman has hung up from their end.

There have been incidents in the past in which a victim has hung up from a fraudster and then attempted to call police, but the conman has simply stayed on the line and pretended to be a 101 call taker.

The best way to avoid this is to call police from a separate line, such as a mobile, or call a friend first. If they pick up then the line is free. Call police.

The use of fictitious identities, or the abuse of details to buy things in the name of an innocent victim, accounted for more than 100,000 of all confirmed frauds recorded in the UK last year.

I’m sure lots of you have spent money on securing your homes by fitting state-of-the-art burglar alarms, buying outdoor lighting, heavy duty locks and even CCTV.

But how much do you put into ensuring that you don’t fall victim to identity theft?

All it takes is your name, date of birth and knowledge of your current and previous addresses to be able to commit identity theft so please ensure you take a minute to think about all the places those details will be.

Please take a moment to think about how easy or hard it would be for someone to get hold of your details.

It might seem obvious but shred everything before you throw it out and put it in the recycling bin the morning the collector is due. Don’t ever give any details over the phone unless you are expecting that specific call.

And if you move house, ask that your post is redirected for at least a year.

We regularly reinforce these messages but unfortunately, people’s lives are busy and with the sheer number of passwords, accounts and personal details people have to take care of, it’s easy to see how sometimes your guard can be down.

If you think you have been a victim of identity fraud, contact Action Fraud to report it on 0300 123 2040 or visit http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud

 

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