Andrew met with Helen Grimshaw, Lancashire Constabulary’s Fraud Safeguarding Officer and PC Phil Ludlow who is leading the support and engagement around fraud in Lancaster and Morecambe. They discussed the challenges posed by fraud in Lancashire and how they can work together with partners to better protect vulnerable people.
Together they visited a local resident who had lost almost £20k through courier fraud, where scammers contacted her over the phone, purporting to be from her bank and coerced her to transfer money from her account.
Since the visit in April 2022, she has thankfully received her lost funds back through support from her bank. The fraud safeguarding team have installed a caller ID and call blocker at the resident’s properly, preventing at least six confirmed nuisance or scam calls within the first weeks of use. This has provided peace of mind and added protection, helping her move on with her life after what has been a traumatic experience.
Andrew Snowden, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire said:
“Fraudsters and the criminal gangs that they are usually part of prey on vulnerable people and abuse their trust. Simply put, they destroy lives, wreaking havoc financially but also the emotional damage can be difficult to deal with.
“It was great to see the positive impact that the support of the fraud safeguarding team has had on the life of a victim who, after falling victim to despicable scammers, felt scared, vulnerable and wasn’t sure how to move forward. I’m delighted that she has since received the funds she had stolen and that the continued support of the force will ensure she does not become a victim again.
“My Police and Crime Plan outlines how we are going continue disrupting and dismantling criminal gangs, working with partners such as the North West Regional Crime Unit and National Crime Agency to stop their criminal enterprises, put offenders behind bars and prevent people becoming victims.”
Helen Grimshaw, Fraud Safeguarding Officer in Lancashire Constabulary said:
“Fraud is the UK’s highest crime type, it’s important to remember we are all susceptible to fraud, looking after victims and sharing a message to help prevent others become a victim is key to ensuring we reduce the risk of this crime.
“It is really important to remember that the Police or your bank will never ask you to assist with an investigation, withdraw or transfer money, or buy high value items. To verify who you are talking to – hang up the phone, make sure you hear a dial tone and ring a trusted/advertised number. Or, if you have an alternative phone, use that to make a phone call. Only criminals will get angry and try to rush or panic you. Most importantly remember that it’s ok to just say no.
“If you have been the victim of fraud you should contact your bank immediately to secure your finances and report to Action Fraud telephone 0300 123 2040 or online actionfraud.police.uk.”