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Amazon fraudsters steal £40,000 from Shropshire residents in 24 hours

By Rob Smith | Shrewsbury | News | Published:

Shropshire people have been scammed out of about £40,000 by bogus Amazon staff in the last 24 hours.

Residents in the Shrewsbury area have been receiving telephone calls from fraudsters claiming to be from Amazon. Police warned that no legitimate company will ask for money or bank details over the phone.

The scam involves a fraudster stating that the victim is eligible for an Amazon refund. The victim then follows a series of instructions from the criminal caller, who is able to gain access to their bank details and siphon money.

Across the West Mercia Police force area, £70,000 has been illegally obtained.

The West Mercia Police Economic Crime Unit is warning people who have been receiving these calls that this is a scam, and advised anyone who is aware of elderly or vulnerable neighbours and family to make them aware.

Detective Inspector Emma Wright said: “Please remember that no legitimate company, organisation, government body or police force will ever ask for your bank details, ask you to transfer money or offer to transfer money into your account.

"While we are working hard to make everyone aware of these scams and identify these criminals and bring them to justice the public can help us by helping each other; by telling vulnerable and elderly friends, neighbours and relatives who may not have seen the news or social media messages that these scams exist and what they can do. Together we will make it impossible for these fraudsters to take advantage of those more vulnerable in our communities.”

“We are advising all reports of these calls to be passed onto actionfraud.police.uk, and reminding computer users to evaluate their online safety. Tips include ensuring you have up to date security software, using secure passwords and regularly backing up your data.

“If you are able to, I would recommend visiting actionfraud.police.uk, who have detailed information such as below about what to look out for.

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”Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.

“Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information. It’s easy to feel embarrassed when faced with unexpected or complex conversations. But it’s fine to stop the discussion if you do not feel in control of it.

"Never install any software or visit a website as a result of a cold call. Unsolicited requests for remote access to your computer should always raise a red flag.

“If you have received such a call and have provided personal details, which has led to funds being removed, it is advised that you contact your bank immediately and contact police on 101.”

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith
Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.

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