Advice on how to avoid being scammed on the telephone is being put out by Neighbourhood Watch this week.
The community group is running a national awareness week with the aim to reduce the chances of getting caught by fraudsters.
In Bedfordshire, the initiative is being supported by the police. Chief Inspector Neill Waring said: “While scammers may not have an obvious presence on the streets like burglars or bogus callers, neighbours can still help to protect each other. We can all help defeat fraud by spreading the message as widely as possible.”
He added: “Research has shown that areas where Neighbourhood Watch is operating are less likely to be targeted by burglars.
“Neighbourhood Watch is run by volunteers, and is an asset to the communities of Bedfordshire.”
The Neighbourhood Watch advice is to “Hang up” on telephone scammers, with a reminder that your bank, or the police, will never:
• Telephone you to ask for your four digit card PIN or your online banking password, even by tapping them into the telephone keypad
• Ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping
• Ask you to transfer money to a new account for fraud reasons, even if they say it is in your name
• Send someone to your home to collect your cash, PIN, payment card or cheque book if you are a victim of fraud
• Ask you to purchase goods using your card and then hand them over for safe-keeping
The group added: “If you feel something is suspicious or feel vulnerable, hang up, wait five minutes to clear the line, or where possible use a different telephone line, then call your bank or card issuer on their advertised number to report the fraud.”
For more information, Bedfordshire Police is hosting a web chat about Neighbourhood Watch Week on Tuesday, June 23, from 7pm. To find out more visit: www.bedfordshire.police.uk
On Thursday, June 25, Bedford and District Neighbourhood Watch will be in Bedford town centre to offer advice to residents about keeping safe as the holiday season approaches.