Please be aware of current telephone scams many of which are targeting elderly people in Lancashire. It involves phone calls or messages from a withheld number claiming to be from Visa or your bank about an unusual £600 transaction on your card, followed by fake calls from the police or your bank's fraud department. If a message is left, you will be asked to press 1 if you did not authorise a recent payment to a particular shop (such as Harrods) or to a foreign country. This will then be followed by a second call from 'police', 'Fraud Team' or similar where they try to obtain personal and banking details.
A Lancashire householder received a call claiming they were owed £3500 in bank charges. The caller explained he had got the information from a government website but was unclear who he was calling on behalf of. The caller knew the householders address details and said an officer would be visiting at lunchtime that day and would need to see the householders passport for photographic ID. The householder put the phone down and reported the incident to the Police.
Please ignore all such calls. If you receive an unsolicited call claiming to be from your bank and are unsure if it’s legitimate, always call your bank via its official contact channels instead of following any instructions. Also note that the scammer can leave your line open, so even if you think you have put the phone down there is a risk that when you dial again you may just end up speaking to the scammer- try using another phone or a mobile to make checks if possible.
Scams can be reported to Action Fraud, contact 0300 123 2014 or go to www.actionfraud.police.uk.
To reduce telesales calls join the Telephone Preference Service on 03450 700707. Many telephone service providers can also offer help to reduce the number of scam calls you receive.