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Preston businesses warned about police donation scam calls

Posted on - 7th April, 2017 - 12:15pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Crime, News
The caller uses Company House records to appear genuine Pic: Pixabay, Mimzy
The caller uses Company House records to appear genuine Pic: Pixabay, Mimzy

Preston firms are being warned about a new telephone scam targeting offices thoughout the UK.

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Businesses have been receiving phone calls from someone claiming to be a police officer.

They ask to speak to a company director by name and then ask a series of questions about whether or not there have been problems with anti-social behaviour in the area lately.

As the rapport builds between the caller and the con artist the call then takes a sinister turn.

The caller goes on to ask whether or not the business is continuing to support a local police community publication with a small donation, as they apparently have done in the past.

Once this call ends a call within ten minutes of the original call to ask for payment.

Read more: Warning issued about council tax scam

Kris Hicks of the service CPR Call Blocker, who have issued the warning, said: “The issue with this type of scam is that people in businesses could easily be tricked in to thinking that they have supported a cause like this in the past. As many local businesses often give back to their communities through charitable donations, scams like these can be easy to fall for.

“The additional problem with calls like these is that people are naturally more inclined to trust a call that they receive from someone in a position of authority, such as a policeman. However, the police will not ask for money over the phone.

“The use of Companies House records, which are easily available, says it all and people should be warned that knowledge of these details is no guarantee that the caller is legitimate.”

How to spot a scam call and keep your business safe

– Sign up to the Telephone Preference Service, this can help stop unsolicited sales or marketing calls. It’s free to opt into.

– Ask for the full name, job title and telephone number of the person calling. If they won’t give it, then are they who they say they are?

– Services such as CPR Call Blocker plug into landlines and have a ‘block now’ button which ends the unwanted call and permanently blocks the number. They come pre-programmed with up to 2,000 known nuisance callers and can store a further 1,500 numbers.

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