Banking fraudsters rely on their victims fearing ridicule

Last week PC Katy Bourne spoke at an event run by Arun & Chichester Citizens Advice along with West Sussex County Council to publicise the importance of staying safe online.

She is keen to remind residents that any type of scam is fraud and should be reported as a crime. Cyber crime and bogus telephone calls or visitors – especially targeting older people – are becoming commonplace, while romance scams are on the rise due to the popularity of internet dating. To report a fraud or cyber crime, you can contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 204, weekdays 8am to 8pm.

Tim Drew

Tim Drew

Meanwhile ‘vishing’ (officially known as authorised push payment fraud) – phone calls where fraudsters impersonate bank staff so plausibly that they can talk you into transferring money into their account – has become one of the fastest growing types of fraud. There have been 19,370 reported cases in the past six months, with an estimated £101.2million transferred to fraudsters in that period.

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With authorised push payment, the average loss to an individual is around £3,000, although these figures are just the tip of the iceberg, as many people don’t report it because they fear they will be ridiculed or dismissed as stupid. The fraudsters know this and rely on it.

So we welcome, all the more, our speaker Jacob Watts, community banker at NatWest, who will talk about scams awareness at the Worthing & Adur Neighbourhood Watch annual general meeting on Wednesday, October 24, at 7pm at the Alan Fletcher Hall, Offington Methodist Church, South Farm Road – access by car is via Broomfield Avenue.

Neighbourhood Watch is promoting the importance of staying safe online

Neighbourhood Watch is promoting the importance of staying safe online

Also, Action Fraud has recently warned about a sharp increase in reports about fake TV Licensing emails claiming to offer refunds.

The emails state that the refund cannot be processed due to invalid account details. The links provided in the emails lead to phishing websites designed to steal personal and financial details.

• For more information about the Worthing & Adur Neighbourhood Watch Associations click here.

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