A PUBLIC meeting is being held in Wells that will offer valuable advice on how to stay safe from scammers.
A scam – a way of tricking people out of something, usually money – can take many forms. The most common are bank scams, parcel delivery scams, social media scams, impersonation scams, investment scams and energy price-cap fraud scams.
Typical attempts at scamming come via unexpected emails, text messages and phone calls.
According to Citizens Advice, more than three-quarters of UK adults were targeted by a scammer in 2022.
The public meeting in Wells will take place in St Thomas’ Church on Saturday, June 17, from 10.30am-12.30pm.
PC Darren Pearson and PC Dan Williams of the Wells Neighbourhood Policing Team, and Ian Ames-White, a lead consultant working for one of the world’s largest Information Technology companies, will explain how to identify and respond to online, phone and texting scams, as well as those that occur on the doorstep.
There will be two 45-minute sessions with a coffee break between them, and a Q&A session at the end, with an opportunity for people to share their own experiences.
“Wells police will be giving a talk in regards to scams which they have encountered and investigated in the local area,” said PC Pearson.
“We will be giving advice to prevent individuals becoming a victim of such scams, and support to those that may have already been targeted. Avon and Somerset Police take incidents of fraud extremely seriously, and following the talk there will be a question and answer session.”
In a local spoofing scam, a Wells resident recently received a call from an 01749 area code. Although they did not recognise the number, they answered the call, which was an automated voice scam. Later, the resident identified the number which turned out to be an established local business that had no knowledge of the incident.
In another local case, this time of cold calling, the victim was phoned by a company offering a free home survey to assess heat loss through the walls and windows. The caller spoke as if they had some authority and the householder was obliged to comply. In this instance the objective of the call was to generate work.
The meeting at St Thomas’ Church will aim to answer such questions as: How do I deal with cold callers on the phone and on the doorstep? Is that really my bank calling? How can I make my PC more secure?
For more information about the event, contact Joanna Birkett (email@example.com), PC Pearson (Darren.Pearson@avonandsomerset.police.uk) or PC Williams (Dan.Williams@avonandsomerset.police.uk).