If you receive a ‘friend’ request on social media that appears to be from someone you are already friends with – be warned as these can be cloned accounts which are used by scammers to gain trust.
Hampshire Police has issued a warning as many local people are receiving these requests.
The scammer will send messages asking for help, or telling you about a great way to make money. One example is a scheme offering large amounts of money in return for buying hundreds of pounds of iTunes or Amazon vouchers.
The police offer this advice:
- Beware of adverts or messages for money making opportunities where they state you can earn a specific or minimum amount of money
- Don’t be tempted by seemingly easy offers of work or ways to make money. You might find your personal details are sold on to other scammers and you could become an easy target
- Never give personal or bank account details to anyone who contacts you unexpectedly
- Never hand over your card, money or valuables to someone at the door to be sent off elsewhere
- Don’t be pressured into acting quickly. Scammers will try and convince people to act quickly and make a decision before having time to think about it
- Take a moment. If you are unsure, speak to a trusted friend, family member or neighbour for advice
- If something seems too good to be true, it probably is
What to do if you receive a suspicious message:
- If you think you have been a victim of this type of scam, report it to Action Fraud online or call 0300 123 2040
- If you have given your bank details or money to anyone you think is suspicious, contact your bank to let them know and help, also call 101 for the police to investigate
- Report any messages or adverts for fraudulent business or money making schemes to the social media platform
- If you are concerned about an unsolicited phone call from someone that you do not know, who asks you to hand over money please report this to Action Fraud and the police, either online at hampshire.police.uk or by calling 101
If you would prefer not to speak to police, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org. Crimestoppers is an independent charity.
Hampshire Police also encourage people to visit the Take Five to Stop Fraud website for more details on protecting yourself from fraud, particularly in the current economic climate: https://www.takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/