Learn to spot signs of fraud as West Yorkshire Police publishes new edition of free Little Book of Big Scams

When it comes to the many tactics that fraudsters might use to target you or your loved ones, information is power.

By Georgina Morris
Sunday, 21st June 2020, 11:45 am

That's the message from the head of West Yorkshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit as she gives her backing to the latest edition of Little Book of Big Scams.

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Ramona Senior said: "Scammers and fraudsters often look to prey on the most vulnerable in society, but information is power when it comes to avoiding being a victim and protecting those we support and care for in our community.

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"This book helps by explaining what some of the scams are and how they work – and, most importantly, giving details of what people can do so they don’t fall victim."

Originally written by the Metropolitan Police Service’s Cyber Crime Unit and reproduced with their permission, the West Yorkshire version provides a comprehensive breakdown of the different types of scams and frauds that could be deployed by criminals intent on stealing from others.

It also gives hints and tips about how someone can reduce their chances of becoming a victim and what to do if they do are targeted by criminals.

Those aims are shared by the Yorkshire Evening Post's Stop the Scammers campaign, which seeks to increase the public's understanding of fraud and how to report it.

Ramona Senior, the head of West Yorkshire Police's Economic Crime Unit.

Linda Davis, from West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said “Raising awareness amongst local communities of scams and frauds is critical and the more ways in which we can work together to protect vulnerable residents from criminals, the more we are empowering those communities to help themselves and each other.’

Other supporters of the book include Calderdale and Kirklees Age UK, and West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson.

Topics covered include online shopping, using Wi-Fi hotspots, keeping software up-to-date and preventing identity theft.

The Yorkshire Evening Post's Stop the Scammers campaign aims to raise awareness of the tactics used by fraudsters.

It can be accessed for free here on the force website, while printed versions are also available for those who do not have internet access and for the police and others to use to educate and inform potential victims.

Mr Burns-Williamson said: "I am very proud to have supported the printing and distribution of this booklet here in West Yorkshire in the belief that it absolutely will help to keep people safe from and prevent scams.

“These simple pieces of advice are for everyone, and if followed, reduce your chances of being targeted by callous criminals."

“Here in West Yorkshire, we are working hard together to help disrupt and stop fraudsters. One such initiative is a multi-agency team called the West Yorkshire Financial Exploitation and Abuse Team (WYFEAT), which brings together specialists which I have provided joint funding for with Trading Standards since its creation a number of years ago.”

Mr Burns-Williamson is also an ambassador for the national Friends Against Scams programme, of which the Yorkshire Evening Post is a member.

Anyone that believes they have been the victim of a scam is advised to contact their bank or financial service provider immediately and report the fraud to Action Fraud website on 0300 123 2040.

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