A recent influx of scammers in the Hull and East Yorkshire region has lead to Humberside Police issuing a scam alert.
These scammers will contact you with products or services and ask for an “advance fee”. Humberside Police are advising people to not pay.
The scams come in many shapes and sizes, and include some of the following:
- Career opportunity scam
- Clairvoyant or psychic scam
- Cheque over-payment fraud
- Dating or romance scam
- Impersonation of officials
- Inheritance fraud
- Loan scam
- Lottery, prize draw and sweepstake scams
- Racing tip scam
- Rental fraud
- “West African” letters
- Work from home and business opportunity scam
- Vehicle matching scam
We recently wrote an article about Multi-Level Marketing, and it’s encouraging to see that Humberside Police consider some of these as scams.
Unfortunately these scams are quite common on Facebook for sale groups, as most of these groups aren’t moderated.
During the months of August and September 45 of these were reported. The oldest victim of these scams was 88, the youngest 19. They target people of all ages.
Humberside Police Scam Warning
Detective Inspector Kevin Foster, Humberside Police’s head of Cyber Crime, said:
These criminals are becoming more sophisticated in their attempts to con money out of people. They’re extremely plausible, and the good or services they are “selling” seem real but often never exist
We are urging everyone to help protect themselves from these scams and from financial fraud by being more aware and to follow some simple advice.
Listen to your instincts and if something feels wrong then it’s usually right to question it. Never disclose security details such as passwords or PIN numbers. Don’t assume an email request or caller is genuine as people aren’t always who they say they are.
Don’t rush into things. A genuine bank or organisation won’t mind giving you time to stop and think and will not ask for your details. Stay in control. Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for your personal details. If in doubt, don’t give any of your financial details away.
Please report anything to us that you think may be a scam as we will robustly pursue any complaint.
We’ve also made a list of scams we’ve heard of and how to avoid them:
- Microsoft “Virus” calls – You’ll be told your computer has a virus. If you tell them “I don’t own a computer” (even if you do) they will usually hang up. They will get you to follow links to install a virus on your computer and make you pay to remove it.
- Career Opportunities – As we said in our previous article, over 99.5% don’t even make the “sign-up” fee back. Don’t waste your time.
- Inheritance – You just inherited millions of pounds from someone you’ve never heard of and can’t find any links to? Definitely a scam. Ignore contact from them.
- Gumtree – Someone is very interested in your item, but is “away” at the moment, they’ll ask you to pay the courier (after a fraudulent payment is made to you), you won’t see your item or your money again. Arrange to collect in person at a safe place.
- Clairvoyant – Unfortunately there’s no way to contact the deceased. Many crimes would have been solved if this were the case. The police would have one on standby every time there’s an unsolved murder. They will usually make generic suggestions about your loved one like “they were an introvert, but sometimes an extrovert”, which applies to almost everyone. Don’t visit one and expect anything but entertainment.
- Racing Tips – These have become quite popular recently. They will post a fake receipt from a bet they “placed”, which may look genuine on first glance, but when compared to a genuine betting slip they’re nothing like. One we recently saw linked to “Coral.com“, rather than “Coral.co.uk“, One is a chemical company, the other a real betting website. Anyone with a thermal printer can recreate the slips (crudely), as you can see in the image above it is quite convincing at first glance.
The best tip we can offer is “don’t take what they say for granted“. Look into the company, use Google, it’s a powerful tool! If the top result for “(company name) review” is a terrible review, then alarm bells should begin to ring.
Seen a scam?
If you see any scams then please do get in touch with Humberside Police on 101. It is always worth reporting them even if you haven’t fallen for the scam yourself, as others may.
If the scam is on a Facebook group click the “Report Post” button and go through the procedures there. The more people that report a post the more likely it will be removed.
Have you been scammed? Don’t be ashamed. There’s no shame in falling for an elaborate scam. Spread the word about it and help stop other people falling for it. Don’t retaliate directly with the scammer, contact the police and seek legal advice.