Specialist police team issue warning over scam in eastern England

Telephone scam alert.
Telephone scam alert.
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Businesses and individuals are being warned of a suspected telephone scam operating in the eastern region.

The Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) has identified a series of offences in which a company has been called by someone claiming their accounts are under attack.

The fraudsters use convincing techniques – including supplying numbers which appear to be legitimate – in order to gain access to the business’ accounts and empty them of cash, causing huge losses to companies.

ERSOU Detective Inspector Nick Power said: “This is a very alarming trend in which reputable, knowledgeable firms are falling victim to these highly believable cons by sophisticated, well-practised criminals.

“We are currently investigating a number of reports and would urge all business owners, and indeed individuals, to remain vigilant to any suspicious activity and report it to their local police force using the 101 number.

“Remember, a single, successful fraud attack can seriously damage a business.”

ERSOU is issuing the following advice for businesses to help spot the warning signs you may be being scammed:

- Look for a geographical address or legitimate contact number for the source claiming to be investigating your accounts

- Look out for warning signs from unsolicited callers – do not give out sensitive company information and never share your business’ bank details or passwords.

- Remember, police or bank officials would never ask you for these details so if you suspect someone to be masquerading in these roles, call the police.

- Do not open or forward emails you suspect to be spam and do not open attachments from unknown sources.

You can also protect your business from other types of fraud by following simple steps:

- Install updates and anti-virus software

- Use strong passwords

- Only download from trusted sites or organisations

- Protect your business’ information and review security measures regularly

Call police on 101 to report a crime or suspicious activity. If you suspect you have been a victim of fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk.

ERSOU is currently supporting Get Safe Online Week. Follow @ersourocu and @getsafeonline for further cyber safety tips and advice.