Of all Fraud reported to Lancashire Police from December 2021 to November 2022 online shopping and auctions accounted for 22%, equating to over £1 million lost in total.
The Commissioner and Lancashire Police are reminding people about the dangers these types of callous criminals pose, and the work being done to proactively take the fight to them, with investment into officers that recover funds or assets stolen through fraud and economic crime generally.
This builds on the proactive activity targeting organised crime through the recently launched Op Warrior and the vital support given to victims of all types of fraud.
Andrew Snowden, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire said:
“These disgusting crimes, usually carried out by crime gangs and targeting the most vulnerable in our society, destroy lives. By abusing peoples trust, offenders don’t just leave a trail of destruction financially, but emotionally too.
“By tracking what types of fraud are particularly prevalent at any one time, we can ensure the right prevention advice is reaching the right people who sadly have fallen victim to these selfish scammers. Investment through the Police Uplift has gone into new posts to tackle fraud and recover funds or assets
‘Through my Fighting Crime Plan, the Constabulary is disrupting and dismantling the criminal gangs responsible through Operation Warrior. We’re also working with the North West Regional Crime Unit and National Crime Agency to force these illegal enterprises to ‘shut up shop’, put offenders behind bars and preventing people becoming victims.”
Helen Grimshaw, Fraud Safeguarding Officer, Lancashire Police said “Victims of fraud report feeling devastated from these crimes, regardless of how much money they have lost. I would urge Lancashire residents to stop and think before they make any purchases. Please check that you’ve done everything possible to protect yourself by checking before you buy and protect your personal information.
If you believe you have been the victim of fraud and for advice to avoid falling victim to scammers, visit Action Fraud https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or telephone 0300 123 2040
You can contact Lancashire Police on 101 or report online via https://doitonline.lancashire.police.uk/ If there is a crime in action or threat to life please call 999.