I am aware that despite many community messages, press releases etc, I am still seeing local residents becoming a victim of scams and frauds due to bogus telephone calls and emails. Please remember this:
The Police or your bank will NEVER
1. Ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe keeping
2. Ask you to transfer money to a ‘safe account’ for fraud reasons or to aid an investigation, even if they say it is in your name
3. Ask you to lie to your bank about why you are withdrawing or transferring money
4. Send someone to your home to collect cash, PIN, cards or cheque books if you are a victim of fraud
5. Ask you to purchase goods using your card and then hand them over for safe keeping
6. Phone and ask you for your PIN or full banking password, even by tapping them into your phone keypad
This is a free online course on passwords from a company I have worked with. Takes about five minutes and I hope you find it informative




North Yorkshire Police is urging owners of high-performance cars to increase security and vigilance as part of an ongoing operation to tackle criminals involved in cash machine thefts.
In recent months, there have been a series of ATM thefts across the county and a region-wide investigation is ongoing to identify and arrest the offenders.
The build-up to these incidents usually involves the theft of a JCB or telehandler heavy plant machinery to forcibly remove the cash machine from the local area, a Transit-type van to transport the ATM away from the scene, and a fast car – often using false number plates – as a get-away vehicle.
Businesses operating heavy plant machinery and vans have been engaged by the police to increase awareness, improve security and encourage suspicious behaviour to be reported.
As a further preventative measure, officers are appealing to local people who own high-powered cars to do everything they can to keep their vehicles safe from organised criminals.
The preferred makes and models tend to be RS and S Audis, AMG Mercedes and M Series BMWs. However, any performance cars could be vulnerable.
Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Wright, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “We are doing everything we can to detect and deter such organised criminal activity.
“While the investigations continue, we are urging people who own high-performance cars to be extra vigilant and take every possible measure to keep their vehicles safe and secure when they are at home, at work or even on service station forecourts.
“It is important to keep keys out of sight, use gates and locks if appropriate and, if another vehicle can be used as a barrier, it all helps to make a theft more difficult. Old fashioned crook locks are also a very good tool in preventing vehicle theft for little money.
“We don’t want to scare people, but there are serious criminals on the look-out for these powerful cars and they will take advantage of any complacency when it comes to vehicle and home security.”
Any suspicious behaviour involving plant machinery and in the vicinity of cash machines should be reported to North Yorkshire Police on 101, option 1, and speak the Force Control Room. If an emergency response is required, always dial 999.
Alternatively, contact Crime stoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
Further security advice is available on the North Yorkshire Police






We have been made aware from a neighbouring force, of a scam that is currently being used by criminals.The suspect dressed as a bogus Royal Mail worker attends the victim’s home address stating that he has a parcel for delivery and that there is an outstanding balance of 55p (amount varies). The suspect states that the victim can only use a chip and pin device and asks them to enter their details. They do so whereby the offender states he has poor reception and goes back to his vehicle before driving off with the card. The card is then usually used at a nearby cash point to withdraw amounts of cash. Please pass on the information, and remain very vigilant and suspicious of handing over your bank cards.






Most people who call at your home will be genuine. But sometimes, people turn up unannounced, with the intention of tricking their way into your home. They are known as ‘bogus callers’ or ‘distraction burglars’, whose only aim is to get into your home by distracting you to steal money or valuables.Bogus callers sometimes work in pairs or even teams and are often well organised. One will distract you while the other searches the house for money or other valuables. They can be men, women or children (or often a combination). Watch out for anyone who says they are in a hurry. Don’t let them pressure or confuse you.

Bogus callers may pose as water, electricity or gasboard workers, council workers or even police officers. Always ask the caller for their identification, and check it, before letting them in.

Use the phone number in the phone book, not the one on their identity card. Remember, a genuine caller will happily wait outside while you check on them by calling their organisation and or calling a family member or neighbour.

To reduce the risk of becoming a victim of this crime, remember the following four steps:
•Lock all doors – even when you are at home
•Stop before you open the door, ask them who they are
•Chain – always use a door chain or spy hole
•Check – Not sure who they are? Don’t open the door!

•You could put a ‘no cold callers’ sign up on your door or window, which should deter any cold callers from knocking on your door.
•If you’re not sure who is at your door, don’t open it! Follow the Lock, Stop, Chain and Check advice.
Telephone a neighbour or friend nearby to come along and check out the caller before you open the door to them.
•Some areas in the country have Neighbourhood Watch or Nominated Neighbour Schemes you can sign up to. Check with your local police team to find out if there is one in your area.
•Many utility service providers like gas, electricity and water, provide password schemes or hotline numbers for customers to call so you can check the identity of callers before opening the door. Speak to your utility provider for more details and set up a password today.
•Don’t keep large quantities of cash at home; put it in the bank or post office where it is safe.
•Keep doors locked and windows secure at all times, even when you’re at home. Always keep your door chain on.
•If somebody asks for your help, needs to make a telephone call, needs a drink or requests a pen and paper for example, assist them through a closed door, or call a friend or neighbour to come and assist.






As part of our continued campaign to increase the awareness of fraud throughout North Yorkshire, please find below 10 phone frauds to look out for:Fraudsters are becoming increasingly sophisticated in the way that they deceive people – especially over the phone.
They will often call you claiming they’re from the police, your bank or some other trusted organisation saying that you have been a victim of fraud or that you owe, or are owed, money. It is easy for them to convince you too, since they can both fake the telephone number on the screen and do their research to find out some of your basic bank and personal details. Here we cover some of the most recent types of frauds carried out by criminals over the phone, both nationwide and right here in North Yorkshire, to help you to recognise them.

1. Fake police scam

This is a call from someone claiming to be from the police or your bank telling you there’s a problem with your card or bank account. They may ask for your account and card details, including your PIN number. They may ask you to withdraw money to assist a police investigation and even offer to send a courier to collect your card or money from you so they can resolve the problem. They may also advise transferring your money to a ‘safe account’ to protect it. The caller will often sound professional and try to convince you that your card has been cloned or that your money is at risk. This is a common scam and the police or your bank would never ask you to withdraw money or move it to a safe account. If you receive an unexpected call, hang up and use another phone to call someone you trust such as a friend or relative, the bank on the telephone number on your bank card or the police on 101.

2. Computer repair scams

A fraudster may call you claiming to be from a well-known company, such as Microsoft, Apple or your broadband provider. They’ll tell you that your computer has a problem and they can help you to solve it. They may instruct you to download what is known as a ‘Remote Access Tool’. This gives the criminal access to everything on your computer including your online banking. Remember, genuine computer service companies don’t contact customers this way and you should never let anyone remotely access your computer.

3. Investment fraud

Investing in stocks and shares or any other commodity can be a successful way of making money. However, it can also lead to people losing their entire life savings. Fraudsters will call you and persuade you to invest in all kinds of products, offering high rates or return, particularly over long periods of time, which often do not exist. Remember, genuine investment companies will not cold call you. Be extremely way of anyone who does. Before investing, check the FCA Register to see if the firm or individual you are dealing with is authorised and check the FCA Warning List of firms to avoid. Get impartial advice before investing.

4. Premium rate ‘Insolvency Service’ phone scam

This telephone scam asks you to make unscheduled and unnecessary calls to the Insolvency Service – a Government agency that supports people in financial distress, tackling financial wrongdoing and maximising returns to creditors. Victims are asked to dial a telephone number that although does connect to the Insolvency Service, is not one of their official numbers and is premium-rate that costs a lot of money. If you receive a call of this nature check the official Insolvency Service website or use a standard search engine such as Google to see if it is one of their official numbers.

5. Bogus bailiffs

Victims receive a cold call by someone claiming to be a bailiff working on behalf of a court, attempting to recover funds for a non-existent debt. Fraudsters request payment by bank transfer and if refused they threaten to visit the people’s homes or place of work in order to recover the debt that is owed. The fraudsters often use the names of certified Bailiff Enforcement Agents such as “Scott Davis”, “Stephen King” and “Mark Taylor”. Remember to always make vigorous checks if you ever get a cold call associated with a bailiff, always request details of the debt in writing to confirm its legitimacy and never feel rushed or intimidated to make a decision based on a phone call – a legitimate company will be prepared to wait whilst you verify information.

6. PPI fraud

Fraudsters pose as officials often from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and cold call people stating that they are eligible for a Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) claim. The fraudsters tell you how much PPI you can claim back but emphasise that an advance fee payment is required in order to make the claim successful. You should never take up offers of PPI claims on the spot from cold calls and text messages. If you use a third party organisation to assist with a claim, you can check to see if they are legitimate by carrying out independent research on the company, as well as checking the FCA’s website for the company’s details or by calling the FCA on 0800 101 88 00 (Monday to Sunday, 8am to 10pm).

7. Tax rebate fraud

Victims receive a cold call from fraudsters posing as local council officials or professionals stating that they are eligible for a general tax or council tax rebate. They also use a range of other techniques, such as sending text messages, to convince the intended victims that their tax rebate is legitimate, when in fact this may not be the case. The fraudsters will tell you how much tax you can claim back but emphasise that an advance fee payment is required in order to make the tax claim successful. Remember, never take up offers of tax rebates on the spot from cold calls and texts messages and always check a company’s contact details (such as a website, address and phone number) are correct and that they registered in the UK.

8. HMRC fraud

Fraudsters cold call victims and convince them that they owe unpaid tax to HMRC. They also leave victims automated voicemails saying that they owe HMRC unpaid taxes. When victims call back on the number provided, they are told that there is a warrant out in their name and if they don’t pay, the police will arrest them. They may also use text messages that ask victims to urgently call back on the number provided. When victims call back, they are told that there is a case being built against them for an outstanding debt and they must pay immediately. It’s important to know that the HMRC will never use texts to tell you about a tax rebate or penalty or ever ask for payment in this way. Telephone numbers and text messages can also easily be spoofed so never trust the number you see on your telephone display. If you receive a suspicious cold call, end it immediately.

9. Compensation calls

This telephone scam involves fraudsters cold calling their victims and claiming to be from the Financial Ombudsman Service, telling them they have a cheque for a large amount of money from a compensation claim. The victim is then often told to buy an iTunes (or similar voucher) roughly to the value of £300 to ‘release’ the compensation. They then claim that a courier will collect it from their home address and that a cheque will be sent to them in the post. Never buy iTunes or gift vouchers if instructed to by someone claiming to be from a government body or official and never hand over any payment to anyone claiming to work at the ombudsman – their service is free to all consumers and they would never ask you for money over the phone.

10. Identity fraud

Identity fraud involves the misuse of an individual’s person details to commit crime. Your details are valuable to criminals and can be misused by them, or sold to others. if your data is obtained by criminals it may be used to obtain credit cards or bank accounts in your name, as well as numerous other financial products. You should always be extremely wary of unsolicited phone calls claiming to be from your bank or phone provider. Particularly if they are requesting personal information such as dates of birth or passwords. Remember, your personal information is valuable, protect it.

If you believe you have been a victim of fraud
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, call North Yorkshire Police on 101 or report it to Action Fraud by visiting or by calling 0300 123 2040. In an emergency or if a crime is in action dial 999.
If you have any information regarding those responsible for such crimes, please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit
For more advice visit






We’ve launched a white goods safety campaign, which will run throughout May. In the last two years (during 2016 and 2017) we have attended over 60 domestic property fires which have been caused by white goods, with almost half (29 out of 66) of these involving tumble dryers. One of the key things we can all do is to register our appliances so we can be notified of repairs or recalls. The Register My appliance website allows items which are several years old to be registered and ensures you will be notified if they are recalled or require a repair. Find out more at: We would also always recommend following the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation of appliances and maintenance. If you’re looking to purchase some new appliances it is worth considering if that deal online is too good to be true. The counterfeit goods industry is big business and it’s easy to be taken in by cheap prices but many fake goods contain faulty or poor quality parts which could pose a risk of fire or electrocution. We would always advise buying goods from a reputable retailer. Some key safety tips for white goods include: Cleaning ovens so there isn’t a build-up of fat. Clearing out the fluff/lint tray on your tumble dryer after every use. Checking and cleaning filters on washing machines. Cleaning the rear of fridges and freezers and ensuring the drainage hole is clear. Never leaving tumble dryers or washing machines on when you go out or go to bed. Ensure that you have working smoke alarms or heat detectors Think about your bedtime routine; turn off or unplug appliances that don’t need to be left on overnight, ensure you have shut doors as this can stop fire from spreading and keep keys for doors and windows in an easily accessible place We would also recommend ensuring you have an escape route in case a fire does break out in your home. As part of our month long campaign we’ll be issuing advice and information on Twitter and Facebook and our staff will be providing advice outside white good retailers and distributing information through libraries and other locations. We’ve also set up a dedicated page on our website at…/…/whitegoods






NYP alerted the public to a fake police fraud earlier this month, unfortunately police in Harrogate are investigating after an elderly man and an elderly woman were targeted in two separate fake police frauds in the town.The first victim, a man in his 80s, was phoned on Tuesday 24 April 2018 by a man who claimed to be a ‘PC Mark Lawrence’ from the Fraud Squad in Scotland Yard.
He said that the elderly man could call 999 and check his collar number with the Force Control Room which the victim did. However, unbeknown to him, he was still on the phone to the original caller who hadn’t hung up the phone. The victim spoke to a woman who ‘confirmed’ these details and put him through to a fake ‘Detective Sergeant Mark Douglas’ who said that they suspected that the victim’s bank was being targeted by Romanian criminals and that they needed his help to rectify the situation. The fake ‘officer’ kept the victim on the phone for over two hours whilst he went to his bank and, under the guise that he was using it to buy a car, withdrew £3,000 in cash so that the ‘police’ could analyse it to see if there was counterfeit money in the cash bundle. The fake ‘officer’ also remained on the phone whilst a different man, from what could have been a fake courier agency, visited the victim’s home address to collect the money. The courier provided the password ‘SUNFLOWER’, which had been provided to the victim earlier in the phone call, and left with the money. The man become concerned the following day when the ‘officer’ did not call as he said he would. He visited his bank again where it became apparent that he had become a victim of fraud.

In a second incident, a woman in her 80s, was also phoned on Tuesday 24 April 2018 by a man who claimed he was Sergeant Wiggen of the Fraud Squad in New Scotland Yard. He stated that there had been suspicious activity on her account and that she needed to go to her local bank and withdraw £17,000. Fortunately, on this occasion, the banking protocol was initiated by the bank who blocked the removal of any money and informed North Yorkshire Police.
Investigations are ongoing and the victims are being supported by officers.

PC Amanda Hanusch-Moore from North Yorkshire Police’s Harrogate Neighbourhood Policing team said:
“These heartless fraudsters are sophisticated and well-rehearsed and whilst they typically prey on the elderly, any one of us could fall victim to their deceptions if we are not vigilant.
“It is important to remember that the police or your bank will never ask you to withdraw or transfer money from your bank account, even to aid an investigation.
“If you receive a call of this nature or have any suspicious at all, please be reassured that it is okay to hang up the phone and end the conversation.
“If you believe you or a family member have been a victim of this type of crime, please call us on 101 or report it to Action Fraud by visiting or by calling 0300 123 2040. In an emergency dial 999.”

If you have any information regarding those responsible for such crimes, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

More advice on how to protect yourself and your family from fraudsters can be found by visiting or following the Take Five North Yorkshire hashtag (#TFNY) on Facebook and Twitter.






North Yorkshire Police has praised the actions of a local post office for alerting to them to a recent fake Microsoft fraud.Staff in Easingwold Post Office noticed that, in the space of 24 hours, they received the same type of request from two different customers to transfer a significant amount of money via a money transfer service to an unknown account. They refused to process both transactions and used the banking protocol to contact North Yorkshire Police to alert them of their concerns on Wednesday 4 April and Thursday 5 April. On both occasions the fraudsters had called their victims claiming to be from Microsoft and stated that their computers had been infected with a virus and that they could help to fix it.

Commonly, the fraudster convinces the victim to install a remote monitoring program called TeamViewer which allows the fraudster to gain access to the victim’s computer. Once access has been gained the fraudster claims to have fixed the problem then informs the victim they are entitled to compensation.
The victim is asked to log into their online banking to receive the refund. The fraudster then transfers money from the victims saving account into their current account to make it look like compensation. They then state they have made an error and compensated too much money and ask the victim to send the difference back via a money transfer company.

In both cases in Easingwold the victims were asked to transfer money to Poland via Moneygram. Had staff at Easingwold Post Office not shown a professional curiosity and processed the requests the victims would have lost approximately £3,000-£4,000 each.

Detective Inspector Jon Hodgeon, Head of North Yorkshire Police’s Major Fraud and Economic Crime Unit said:
“Fraudsters are becoming increasingly sophisticated in the way that they deceive people. On this occasion the numbers shown on the call display were UK based landlines and the fraudsters claimed to be a well-known computer provider.
“It is a concern that two people in North Yorkshire who live in close proximity have been targeted by the same fraud in the space of 24 hours.
“It may be the case that this fraud team are working through the phone book and other North Yorkshire residents may be targeted. “These frauds were luckily both prevented by the quick thinking of the Easingwold Post Office who absolutely did the right thing and used the banking protocol to contact North Yorkshire Police.
“Computer firms do not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer. Fraudsters make these phone calls to try to steal from you and damage your computer with malware. “We are appealing to the public and financial institutions to remain vigilant, question uninvited approaches and never give out personal or financial details.”

The warning comes as North Yorkshire Police has today launched a six-month awareness campaign to help the public protect themselves against fraud.
Titled ‘Take Five North Yorkshire’, the campaign is designed to help the public to recognise fraudulent activity and confidently challenge any requests for personal or financial details.
More information about the campaign, and advice on how to protect yourself and your business from fraudsters can be found by visiting or following the Take Five North Yorkshire hashtag (#TFNY) on Facebook and Twitter.

The Banking Protocol, is a new scheme aimed at ensuring banks and police are more active in protecting customers. It is being run as a joint venture between the police, Financial Fraud Action – which represents banks – and National Trading Standards. For more information visit