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Police launch new campaign to combat online scammers

27 Dec 2022 3 minute read
Police and crime commisioner North Wales Andy Dunbobbin . Picture Mandy Jones

A new campaign to tackle online fraud to coincide with the New Year sales has been launched by North Wales Police.

In partnership with Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin the Stop Challenge Check campaign includes advice on how to steer clear of scammers.

One elderly victim from Flintshire said she fell for a new method of targeting victims which preys on parents wishing to help their children.

The elderly lady, who didn’t want to give her name because she felt foolish for having been taken in, said the fraud started when she received a message on WhatsApp.

The victim said she didn’t recognise the number but the criminal on the other end pretended to be her daughter.

Claiming that her daughter had dropped her phone down the toilet, the criminal wanted help in accessing her online banking details in order to put down a deposit on a car.

The elderly victim – believing that her daughter needed her help – transferred nearly £2,000 into the criminal’s fraudulent bank account.

The scammer was so convincing that the elderly lady tried to send a further £987 but the victim’s bank identified a possible fraud and declined the transaction.

After a number of weeks, the victim was eventually refunded by her bank.

Stop Challenge Check

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin wants the public to follow a few simple steps before parting with their money.

Stop – Take your time and think twice before clicking links or opening attachments.

Challenge – If you receive any contact that is unusual or unexpected, contact the individual or organisation to make sure it is genuine.

Check – Check your credit score and bank statements regularly to spot any irregularities.

Mr Dunbobbin said: “Unfortunately, if an offer looks too good to be true, it often is. I know that many people are struggling with rising prices at the moment and will be tempted by that great deal online. But it’s vital when shopping online, that you take a couple of moments to Stop, Challenge, and Check. If we all follow a few simple tips; we could all save ourselves a lot of trouble further down the line.”

PC Dewi Owen of North Wales Police’s Cybercrime Team, which forms part of North Wales Police’s Economic Crime Unit said: “We urge everyone to take a few minutes as the New Year approaches to ensure that they have strong passwords on all their accounts.”

To report a fraud ring 101 or in an emergency dial 999.

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