Your monthly update direct from West Mercia Police on the latest scams and frauds
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, romance may be high on many people’s agenda as they seek an appropriate way to celebrate the day. However, at the same time criminals are using this as an opportunity to devise new scams to defraud their victims on dating sites and social media.
At this time of the year there is a rise in Romance Frauds as the fraudsters draw their victims into false relationship, gain their confidence, before the requests for money start to come in. These are accompanied by heart rending pleas about personal or family problems, and emergencies which need finance.
Are any platforms safe?
Fraudsters continue to target users of popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, as well as dating sites such as Tinder and Plenty of Fish.
Messaging sites such as Google Hangouts and WhatsApp may also be used to find unsuspecting victims.
As well as conventional dating platforms, online Gaming platforms may be used to seek potential victims since there are fewer protective measures in place.
Who are their targets?
Females over 40 years are common victims as well as younger males, but users also need to be aware on age related dating platforms too.
How does it work?
Basically, criminals will go to great lengths to gain the victim’s trust by claiming they are in a genuine relationship which is built up over time.
Please feel free to share this information with any family, friends, neighbours you think may be able to assist.
Take Five to Stop Fraud
STOP: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
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
If you’ve fallen for a scam,
report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via actionfraud.police.uk
Scam Text messages can be forwarded to 7726 to help phone providers take early action and block numbers that generate spam on their networks.
Forward Fake Emails received to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you think your bank account or personal banking details have been used fraudulently, then use the short phone number - 159 - to contact the Fraud Prevention Department of most major UK banks.
We would like to make you aware of some important Government funding that is available to residents in your area:
Free Energy Home Improvements now available to residents in Worcestershire - For more information, email email@example.com
Help us spread the word about free home improvements in Worcestershire.
The Home Upgrade Grant scheme (HUGs) is designed to tackle colder homes that do not have mains gas central heating. Homeowners and tenants in Worcestershire could benefit from a variety of measures to help reduce energy bills including: internal and external wall insulation, loft and cavity wall insulation, air source heat pumps, solar panels, draught proofing and many more.
Worcestershire County Council is working in partnership with Redditch Borough and Bromsgrove, Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Councils and Act on Energy to deliver this programme.
Worcester City Council and Wyre Forest District Council are administering their own HUG2 scheme and information can be found on their websites.
To qualify, households must not use mains gas to heat their home, have a gross annual income of less than £31,000 with a current Home Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D to G.
Funding is also available for landlords in the charity and private rented sector.
Those who qualify for the scheme will undergo a free technical survey to determine the most suitable energy efficiency measures.
For more information, including full eligibility, and to register your interest visit: www.worcestershire.gov.uk/home-upgrade-grant-scheme-hug2 OR contact your local energy charity Act on Energy on their free advice line 0800 988 2881
All projects must be completed by March 2025.
What we can do:
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
We have also attached a poster and information leaflet.
Project Manager HUG2
Economy and Infrastructure
Worcestershire County Council, County Hall, Spetchley Road, Worcester, WR5 2NP
Tel: 01905 845398 or email: HMehaffey@worcestershire.gov.uk
For more information visit: Home Upgrade Grant Scheme (HUG2) | Worcestershire County Council