Kingsley Village
in the heart of Cheshire

Message sent by: Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Phantom Debt Collectors and Bailiffs Fraud Alert

Action Fraud has recently experienced an increase in the number of calls to members of the public by bogus bailiffs requesting payments for a “phantom” debt. The fraud involves being cold-called by someone purporting to be a bailiff working on behalf of a court, attempting to recover funds for a non-existent debt.

Message sent byRyan Reid (Police, PCSO, Chester LPU Rural & Frodsham PCSO)

Dear Residents,
There has been a slight increase of burglaries in the rural areas recently.
With this in mind Cheshire Police is keen to remind people about the importance of home or business security.
In our busy lives it’s easy to forget about your home security. However, there are some simple steps that you can take to secure your property and belongings.

Message sent by: Dan Hind (Police, Media, Chesh Engagement Unit)

Officers are reminding resident to remain vigilant following a multiple reports of hoax calls from people claiming to be from HMRC.

Over the past 24 hours officers have received three separate reports from residents in the Northwich area who have received calls from a man purporting to be from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

On each occasion the victim was told they were being investigated by HMRC for an outstanding tax balance and if they didn’t settle the balance then they would be arrested. The caller was then informed that if they paid the balance within two hours they will not be arrested, and then told that the balance could only be settled using iTunes vouchers.

The victims were then advised to visit a high street supermarket or electronics store to purchase the vouchers and then call back the hoax caller and provide them with the serial numbers from the vouchers to settle their debt.

Chief Inspector Simon Meegan said: “In each of these cases the victims have been told that they must purchase hundreds of pounds worth of vouchers or face the prospect of being arrested; which has caused anxiety and concern for all of the victims.

“Thankfully in all three cases the victims did not fall for the scam and no money changed hands. However, having been made aware of these incidents we are working closely with local supermarkets and electronics stores to help prevent vulnerable residents from purchasing large quantities of vouchers.

“I would also like to remind local residents that HMRC would never call you and ask you to settle a balance over the phone using vouchers. I advise anyone who believes that they may have been a victim to call us on 101.”

Anyone who believes they have been contacted fraudulently or have been a victim of fraud should call Cheshire Police on 101 and Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

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Message sent by: Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Smishing – the term used for SMS phishing – is an activity which enables criminals to steal victims’ money or identity, or both, as a result of a response to a text message. Smishing uses your mobile phone (either a smartphone or traditional non-internet connected handset) to manipulate innocent people into taking various actions which can lead to being defrauded.
 
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has received information that fraudsters are targeting victims via text message, purporting to be from their credit card provider, stating a transaction has been approved on their credit card.
 
The text message further states to confirm if the transaction is genuine by replying ‘Y’ for Yes or ‘N’ for No. 
 
Through this method the fraudster would receive confirmation of the victim’s active telephone number and would be able to engage further by asking for the victim’s credit card details, CVV number (the three digits on the back of your bank card) and/or other personal information.
 
Protect yourself:

  • Always check the validity of the text message by contacting your credit card provider through the number provided at the back of the card or on the credit card/bank statement.
  • Beware of cold calls purporting to be from banks and/or credit card providers.
  • If the phone call from the bank seems suspicious, hang up the phone and wait for 10 minutes before calling the bank back. Again, refer to the number at the back of the card or on the bank statement in order to contact your bank.
  • If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, please report it to Action Fraud athttp://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or alternatively by calling 0300 123 2040

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