Joining the fight against criminal scammers

As part of Take Five to Stop Fraud Week, I am calling on Dorset residents to take just five minutes out of their week to share some top tips with friends, family and colleagues, that can help to prevent people from falling victim to scams.

Joining the fight against criminal scammers

In my PCC victim surgeries, I have seen how scams damage lives and affect people not only financially but on an emotional and psychological level. The tactics used by scammers leave victims socially isolated and sometimes too embarrassed to tell anyone, including the police.

In my role on the Home Secretary’s Fraud Taskforce and the Association of Police & Crime Commissioners, I have been involved with setting the strategic direction around increasing resources available to investigate fraud and provide for victim care.

Locally, recent statistics found that 30% of victims in Dorset reported a severe or significant impact from the crime. 60-79 year olds are most at risk, making up 35% of all victims in Dorset compared to 26% nationally. 10% were repeat or prior victims compared to 8% nationally. 

It is therefore with great pride that I have recently joined the Friends Against Scams campaign, an initiative of the National Trading Standards Scams Team and the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. 

As a SCAMbassador, I will be working to empower local communities across Dorset by encouraging people to have the knowledge and confidence to say no to fraudsters. The reality is that anyone can be a victim and financial fraudsters target everyone, but we must work together to support groups who may be more vulnerable to scams.

I encourage local people to spread the following message: If you are at all unsure, never give out your personal details, click on a link or give someone access to your money. 

1.            A genuine bank or organisation will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, full password or to move money to another account. 
2.            Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text. 
3.            If you have any doubts about legitimacy, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number. 

The Take Five campaign phrase ‘My money? My info? I don’t think so.’ is a helpful reminder to quickly and confidently shut down unsolicited approaches. Fraud is growing issue nationally and in Dorset, but it is preventable. 

Martyn Underhill
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner

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