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Kent Police Scam Advice

By Staplehurst Parish Council Staplehurst Parish Council

Monday, 18 May 2020

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Staplehurst Parish Council Contributor

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There has been an increase in scams across the UK, some of which relate to the current Covid-19 situation.

Many of these scams claim to be from organisations you know and trust.

Kent police are working with agencies including Action Fraud, National Trading Standards and HM Government to promote the latest scam alerts.

They are also encouraging the public to report incidents of fraud through the appropriate channels and have provided the following guidance to help you reduce the risk of being scammed.

What are scams?

Scams could reach you by post, phone, email, text, when you are using the internet or on social media.

They will look and sound genuine and usually claim to be from a reputable company, service provider, bank, the police or a government service such as HMRC. They could even be someone asking for help.

They will ask you to click a link, call a high-rate telephone number or encourage you to hand over personal information, bank details, bank cards or even cash. Don’t do it.

Here are a few of the current scams in circulation nationally and internationally:

• Door-to-door scam where a visitor claims to be from the Health Authority to test you for Covid-19. You do not have to open your door to anyone you do not know and aren’t expecting.

• Telephone scam where someone claiming to work for the police, hospital, a bank or other service cold calls and says they are raising money or require payment for a local cause or service. Never respond to an unexpected call by giving away cash, cards, PINs, bank details or personal information – no matter how tempting or convincing the caller may seem.

• Text scam disguised as an alert from HMRC, offering a goodwill payment during the current Covid-19 situation if you click on a link and provide personal and bank details. Never click a link or give out your bank details or personal information in response to an unsolicited email or text – no matter how tempting or convincing the message may seem.

• Text scam claiming to be from Gov.uk, which says you have been recorded and fined for leaving your home during an isolation period, and asks you to click a link for more details. Never respond to unexpected emails, click on links or attachments, or provide bank details or personal information – no matter how tempting or convincing the message may seem.

• Online shopping scam offering protective equipment including face masks, hand sanitiser and other products which never arrive. Only use reputable websites that you know and trust, make sure you see a padlock symbol when making a purchase, and where possible use a credit card which has insurance for online payments.

• Text and email scams claiming to be from HMRC, saying you are eligible for a tax refund. Never click a link or give out your bank details or personal information in response to an unsolicited email or text – no matter how tempting or convincing the message may seem.

How to avoid scams

Remember:

• You do not have to open your door to anyone you don’t know and aren’t expecting.

• No one from the police or your bank will contact you and ask you to provide your PIN and bank card – or ask you to withdraw and hand over cash.

• Never respond to unexpected emails or text messages, click on links or attachments, or provide bank details or personal information – no matter how tempting or convincing the message may seem.

• Always install the latest software and app updates to protect your device.

• Only use reputable websites that you know and trust, make sure you see a padlock symbol when making a purchase, and where possible use a credit card which has insurance for online payments.

Use the A, B, C of scam awareness:

• never Assume a caller, email or text is genuine.

• never Believe a caller, email or text is genuine.

• always Confirm by contacting a trusted number or team like Action Fraud, a family member, friend or your

your bank’s fraud department to check if it’s genuine.

Follow guidance from the National Take Five campaign:

Stop – Take a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information.

Challenge – Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

Protect – Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.

Get the latest scam updates and advice

• Follow @KentPoliceECU and @kent_police on twitter

• Find Kent Police on Facebook

• Visit www.actionfraud.police.uk

Fraud prevention advice

• Take Five: www.takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/general-advice

• Action Fraud: www.actionfraud.police.uk

• National Fraud Intelligence Bureau: www.actionfraud.police.uk/what-is-national-fraud-intelligence-bureau

• CIFAs: www.cifas.org.uk

• Kent Police: www.kent.police.uk/fraud

• Protect Kent: @kentprotect on twitter

• Medway Council: @medway_council on twitter

• Kent Cyber Team: @kentpolicecyber on twitter

• Your own bank’s website

Reporting a scam

If you think you, or someone you know, have been a victim of a scam, report it immediately at www.actionfraud.police.uk

If you have paid money or shared your bank details, contact your bank’s fraud team straight away.

Inclusion of any website link does not imply endorsement or approval by Staplehurst Parish Council of the linked website, its operator or its content, nor is Staplehurst Parish Council responsible for the content of any website or web page outside of the Staplehurst Parish Council website.

Contact Information

Staplehurst Parish Council

Find Staplehurst Parish Council

Parish Office, Village Centre, High Street, Staplehurst, Tonbridge, Kent, TN12 0BJ

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