North Yorkshire Police, are today launching their Freeze on Fraud campaign to raise awareness of online fraud and help reduce the risk of people falling victim to this ever increasing type of crime. Over the next few weeks, we will be releasing a series of short videos about fraud, featuring top tips from DI Hodgeon, Head of Fraud at NYP, and also some real life victim stories.You can watch these videos and read a host of information on our dedicated webpage

Please visit the webpage and spread the word – it is really important that you are aware of the different threats posed by fraudsters and understand the preventative steps you can take to prevent falling victim. The campaign will feature on our social media platforms throughout January and also on ATMs across the county.







Looking at the latest data received from Action Fraud it is disappointing to see victims losing money to 2 telephone scams which are continuing to ‘do the rounds’ The first is from someone claiming to be from Microsoft or BT stating they have identified problems with the computer or router. The victim is then duped into downloading a piece of software (usually teamviewer) which enables the criminal to gain access to the victim’s computer. Access is then gained to the victim’s bank account and money withdrawn. The second scam involves a call from someone claiming to be from HMRC and that an outstanding tax bill is owed. The caller claims to have obtained a court order and that bailiffs are en route to collect the outstanding debt. The victim is then panicked into paying what they believe is an outstanding tax bill which of course doesn’t exist. Unfortunately the victims of these types of crime are invariably elderly. Please spread the word about these scams. The more people are aware, the more able they are to safeguard themselves. Remember the best way to protect yourselves against telephone cold calling is to purchase a call blocking device. Many new phones come with them pre-installed. In this day and age they are becoming a neccessity. Finally from all at North Yorkshire Trading Standards a very happy and ‘scam free’ Christmas and New Year.


Have you lost money to a scam that has involved you transferring money abroad through Western Union? If so the below may be of interest.
The below email was circulated by Halton Trading Standards
Halton Trading Standards discovered that there’s a pot of money held by the Federal Trade Commission in the US to be used for scam victims who have paid using Western Union. We issued a press release and shared the information on the Scams Knowledge Hub but nobody picked up the story. Last week I emailed the Money Saving Expert and they published it. It was picked up by the Daily Mail.

The process involves on online form to complete and you will need to upload the documentation you received when you transferred the money. Copy and paste the above link into your browser and follow the instructions from there

I would be interested to hear of anyone who is successful in this process

Andy Fox
North Yorkshire Trading Standards



North Yorkshire Trading Standards have received the list of scams and frauds reported by residents to Action Fraud. There are a number of themes I wish to share with you. Residents are continuing to be called by someone claiming to be from Microsoft/BT stating there is a problem with your computer and asking the victim to download a piece of software called Teamviewer which allows the criminal to gain access to the victims computer. THIS IS A SCAM and victims have lost several thousand of pounds to these criminals. Another frequent scam is the caller claiming to be from HMRC claiming there is an outstanding bill and a court order has been obtained for payment and that unless the ‘victim’ pays immediately, bailiffs will be sent round. Again THIS IS A SCAM. Often the criminal will ask for payment in i-tune vouchers. Finally we are seeing an increase in reported ‘Romance Scams’ where victims are duped into sending money to someone they have met on the internet. Quite often the criminal will give some sob story about how a child is ill or they need money quick to persuade the victim to transfer thousands of pounds into a foreign account on the promise they will get the money back or that the person will come to the UK to marry the victim. In all these cases the advice is the same. If you are contacted by the telephone or on the internet and you have any doubt whatsoever, terminate the call. Please do not fall victim to thes fraudsters.



Officers from the Neighbourhood Policing Teams within North Yorkshire Police would like to make parents aware of the following update that has released on snapchat.
If your children have the Snapchat app and GPS on their phone please take a look at this.

It seems with the new update there is a new feature on Snapchat. When you open the app place two fingers on the screen and drag them together ‘pinch’ just like when zooming out on an interactive map. This will then open the new feature. It shows your location with near exact accuracy and can be only a couple of meters wrong. This means people can see exactly where you are at any time.

To turn this off there is a settings button in the top right and can turn the feature to ghost mode. This will hide your location from others. Also turn off the phones GPS as an extra level of security.

If you need any help please contact your phone provider or visit an O2 store and speak to one of their gurus. This is a free service and regardless of the network you are on. The gurus can help with any technical questions and security advice.

Please remind your children to only have ‘friends’ on these apps who they actually know, this will keep them safer online.

While we have focused this on keeping children safe. Please be mindful features like this could be used by criminals, knowing when you’re out or even where you live. Always be mindful of posting pictures with cycles and such which would show people exactly where you store them. Then show when you are out.





Is online blackmail in relation to sexual acts. Many people, both man and women, of all different ages, fall victim to this type of crime.Many people use webcams for flirting and cybersex – but sometimes people you meet online aren’t who they say they are. Criminals might befriend victims online by using a fake identity and then persuade them to perform sexual acts in front of their webcam, often by using an attractive woman to entice the victim to participate. These women may have been coerced into these actions using financial incentives or threats.

These webcam videos are recorded by the criminals who then threaten to share the images with the victims’ friends and family. This can make the victims feel extremely ashamed and embarrassed and, tragically, here in the UK at least four young men have taken their own lives after being targeted in this way.

Both men and women can be victims of this crime, either by being blackmailed or by being coerced into carrying out sexual acts.

The best way to stop yourself from becoming a victim is to be very careful about who you befriend with online, especially if you’re considering sharing anything intimate with them.

Has this happened to you?

•Happening now? Call the police on 999
•If this has happened recently, call the police on 101
•Do not pay any money
•Stop communicating with the person immediately
•Report to your internet service provider
•Screengrab and write down as much information
as possible
•If you’re under 18, report to Child Exploitation and Online Protection

Preserve evidence.
Make a note of all details provided by the offenders, for example; the Skype name (particularly the Skype ID), the Facebook URL; the Western Union or MoneyGram Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN); any photos/videos that were sent, etc.
Be aware that the scammer’s Skype name is different to their Skype ID, and it’s the ID details that police will need. To get that, right click on their profile, select ‘View Profile’ and then look for the name shown in blue rather than the one above it in black. It’ll be next to the word ’Skype’ and will have no spaces in it.

Remember that you’re the victim of organised criminals – you’re not alone and confidential support is available. You can get through this.

Further help and support

If this has happened to you and you’re under 18 please talk to an adult that you trust. It may feel like there is no way out, but there are professionals who can help you.

You can also get help from: – provides confidential advice and support and works to prevent young suicide in the UK. – to talk any time you like in your own way and off the record




During the warmer months, Police often see a rise in burglary as people are tempted to leave their leave home windows and doors open during the day and into the night. An open window or door is an invitation to thieves and can result in a lot of distress if belongings are stolen.· Keep the front and back doors locked and windows closed as much as possible, also on cars.

· If windows are open, keep them on the latch so that they cannot be opened further from outside.

·Keep valuables and keys out of sight and well away from front or back doors where they may be easily reached.

· Keep side gates locked.

· Put away garden tools, ladders etc. after use so they cannot be used to gain access.

· Use a strong lock on sheds, garages and other outbuildings and bolt hinges on for additional security.

· Consider fitting outdoor security lighting.

· Keep an eye on neighbouring properties.

If you see anything suspicious contact police on 101.

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It may be the last month of spring, but there’s still time to squeeze in a final spring clean. North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue are suggesting people clear clutter that may be blocking escape routes and to make sure their family, guests and loved ones know how to get out, stay out, and call 999 in the event of a fire.

Working smoke alarms are regularly the heroes in a fire, giving people the warning they need to get out of their home in a fire. But blocked exits, locked doors or unfamiliar surroundings can shave vital seconds from their escape time. .

We all know we need to take time to test our smoke alarms, but this week make time for your home and take some simple steps to help keep your loved ones safe:

1. Think about how you’d all get out in case of a fire, Making an escape plan and practising it will help ensure that everyone can get out, stay out and call 999

2. Fit at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home so smoke can reach the alarms quicker giving you more warning time.

3. Test your smoke alarms monthly. Smoke alarms can save your life, but only if they work.

4. Clear your escape routes. Make sure you’re able to escape without tripping over to ensure a speedy exit

5. Keep your door and window keys in a known and accessible place. Make sure everyone knows where the door and window keys are kept so they can reach them easily and get out quicker in case of a fire.

Many of us care for others, children and loved ones. If this is you then consider the following:

 How will they get out? Plan an escape route that works for them and think of any difficulties they may have or help they may need getting out. Would they benefit from a torch to light their way or a stair rail?

 Where is the best place to go if the worst happens and they can’t escape? This is especially important if they have trouble moving around or can’t get downstairs on their own.

 Who’s your ‘Escape champ’? Nominate someone in your home (perhaps a child) to be the ‘Escape champ’. Role-playing escape routes regularly and giving children the responsibility to keep escape routes clear makes fire safety more fun and engaging.

Just two to three breaths of toxic smoke could leave you unconscious, so every second counts when escaping a fire. Having working smoke alarms and knowing the escape plan in an emergency could make all the difference. If you have dependants or someone less able to care for, it could take more time to get out, stay out and call 999. Make sure you’re always prepared, your exits are clear and everyone knows what to do if the worst should happen.”

To find out more fire safety information or to book a free Home Fire Safety Check please visit or call 01609 788545