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Weekly Fraud Update from West Mercia Police – Economic Crime Unit – 09/01/2024


It’s the start of the New Year and no doubt the criminals will be planning their next moves to defraud any unsuspecting members of the public.

So what better time to make a new resolution to examine how we defend ourselves from Fraudsters, strengthen our protection and do all we can to avoid being a victim of the scammers.

What can we do?


  1. Use strong and separate passwords for each of your online accounts. 3 Random Words with at least 8 characters and a combination of upper and lower case, numbers and symbols.
  2. Step Verification (2SV) – Also known as 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) for your online accounts adds an extra layer of security by requiring a code or PIN to confirm your identity when you log in.
  3. Take time to stop and think before continuing a phone call or clicking on a link from an unknown source. Never be pressurised into making a quick decision. Always check the email address before opening emails claiming to be from bona fide organisations such as your Bank, Government organisations or other businesses.


  1. Install the latest Software and App updates on your devices as these often contain security patches to protect you from hackers
  2. Back up your data regularly, by storing your important files in a separate location such as an external hard drive or on the Cloud. This way all is not lost if you experience a ransomware attack, device loss or damage.
  3. Be careful when using public Wi-Fi networks as they are often unsecured and can expose your activities to others. Using a Virtual Private Network – VPN – can protect your privacy.
  4. Protect your personal information online, and do not share too much information about yourself on social media, online forums and other similar platforms. This is how you could become a target for scammers and identity thieves. Check your privacy settings on Social Media to make sure only your real friends see your posts.
  5. Beware of your Digital Footprint – every time you go online you leave a digital “footprint” which can show where you are and what you are doing. Once you post a file or photo online it may stay there forever and be used by others, so do not share anything that may cause you problems or embarrassment in the future.
  6. Educate yourself and your family about online safety by learning how to spot online common online scams and how to avoid them and use the internet responsibly and respectfully to protect you and your family.

Please feel free to share these messages with any vulnerable friends, relatives or neighbours

Take Five to Stop Fraud

STOP: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
CHALLENGE: Could it be fake? It’s OK to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
PROTECT: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud


  • Avoid disclosing security details
  • Emails, Phone Calls and Texts may not be authentic
  • Always make direct contact with any organisation by using a genuine phone number
  • Stop and Challenge any unexpected requests
  • Protect others by reporting Fraud and Scams

If you’ve fallen for a scam, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via

Scam Text messages can be forwarded to 7726 to help phone providers take early action and block numbers that generate spam on their networks.

Forward Fake Emails received to

If you think your bank account or personal banking details have been used fraudulently, then use the short phone number – 159 – to contact the Fraud Prevention Department of most major UK banks