Warning following scam which sees fraudsters pose as OPCC employees
Main article content
We are asking those living in the GL53 area of #Cheltenham to be vigilant following reports of scammers purporting to be staff from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
Over recent days a report has been received of residents receiving phone calls from someone saying they work within the department and are conducting a survey.
The person supposedly conducting the survey then went on a long ramble before asking for personal information. The victim said a comment about the survey before the scammer hung up.
We can confirm no surveys from the PCC about the area of GL53 are being run at the moment however three genuine monthly surveys are being run on behalf of the constabulary, these are
1. A domestic abuse victims survey conducted by Leicestershire Police
2. Victim/ user satisfaction survey conducted by a company called SMSR
3. Local policing survey also conducted by SMSR
For those who are victims of crime, a call asking about their experience may be expected but for the local policing survey they will not be expecting a call. However the company will always declare themselves as calling on behalf of the Constabulary and being from SMSR (an approved market research company).
They also give the person the team’s contact details should they wish to check the legitimacy of the call.
SMSR is registered under the data protection act and they will not ask people for personal details just demographic data
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is free and can help reduce the number of nuisance and scam calls you receive. To register, please visit: https://www.tpsonline.org.uk/register
Police and Crime Commissioner Chris Nelson said: "I’m constantly amazed at the lengths to which these scammers will go, in order to obtain personal information from members of the public.
"Rest assured that this latest incident has been reported, and that I’m working with colleagues in Gloucestershire and nationally to put an end this scourge.
"Theft and fraud driven by scams can have heart-breaking consequences for residents, which is why I made tackling them a key part of my manifesto."
More advice to help stop you from becoming a victim of fraud is below:
• If you believe you are being targeted by a scammer hang up the phone and use a different phone line to call Action Fraud or the police, as scammers have a way to stay on the line and will pretend to be the police when you call back.
• If you don’t have access to a different phone line, wait for a period of time and try calling a family member or friend first to make sure the scammer is no longer on the line.
• Just because someone knows basic details about you like your address or date of birth, it doesn’t mean they are genuine employees/callers.
• Always question suspicious phone calls and report them to Action Fraud or the police.
• Always have a pad and pen next to the phone, if you get a suspicious call, take details, don’t get flustered, get names addresses and contact numbers then disconnect the call.
Anyone who believes they have been the victim of fraud can report this to police by calling 101 or contacting Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.