Officers from the Welwyn Hatfield Safer Neighbourhood Team have attended Barclays bank in Welwyn Garden City to raise awareness around fraud.
The officers hosted a stall yesterday (Thursday 9 February) where customers could get advice on spotting the signs of fraud and what to do if they become the victim of it.
The stall offered information around the latest known scams, including one in which criminals target restaurant-goers. Where the customers try to pay by scanning a QR code, the scammers cover the sticker with a new QR code that then leads them to a bogus website.
Customers were also able to take away ‘We do not buy or sell at the door’ stickers for their homes, to protect against unscrupulous doorstop sellers. They were also given RFID blocker cards* which help protect from credit card fraud or identity theft.
Ahead of Valentine’s Day, there was information around how to spot the signs of romance scams on social media.
PC Anne Lopez said: “We were pleased to be able to help customers understand what to look out for and what to do if they suspect fraud. Scams can often be very sophisticated so it’s important to make sure you are educated on what to look out for. As part of this, we gave advice to customers around looking after their money and they were able to take away leaflets containing our top tips.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to remind the public that you should always report any phone calls you believe are suspicious as we may be able to trace where the calls are originating from. Its best to wait at least five minutes before calling police or use a mobile or neighbour’s phone.
“If you receive a call you’re not expecting, you should be suspicious. Remember, your bank and the police would never ask for your bank account details or PIN number over the phone. Likewise, neither would ask you to withdraw money or purchase high value items and send it to them via a courier, taxi or by any other means. We’d also never ask you to send your bank cards, or any other personal property, to us via courier, taxi or by any other means.”
* Using an RFID scanner, a criminal can quickly gather a victim’s credit card or passport details simply by walking past them. RFID blocker cards help stop this.
If you are not happy with a phone call and are suspicious of the conversation you have with the caller then please end the call and dial 101 or report. In an emergency or if a crime is in progress call 999 immediately.
Remember, when reporting a suspicious phone call to police, wait at least five minutes before attempting to make the call to ensure you’re not reconnected to the offender.
Alternatively, use a mobile phone or a neighbour’s phone or test your landline by phoning a friend or relative first, to ensure you aren’t still unwittingly connected to the offender.
If you have concerns about your bank account, visit your local branch.