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Weekly Fraud Update From West Mercia Police – Economic Crime Unit- 26/03/2024 [#236135962]


In recent weeks, several of the major banks have reported a rise in Bank Scams. Criminals may contact you in various ways including phone calls, emails, texts or social media.

Whilst it used to be easier to spot scams by their bad grammar, spelling or unusual email address, with modern technology many scams are getting much smarter and everyone has to be that bit more vigilant.

Criminals are also using QR codes within phishing emails to lure victims to fake websites, so always be wary of QR codes in emails.

How to recognise scam messages or phone calls

  • Official – Criminals will pose as someone in authority such as the Bank or Government departments
  • Urgency – you will be told that you must respond immediately, or in a short-fixed time span, and may be threatened with fines or penalties if you fail to respond
  • Emotions – the message content, or tone over the phone, may make you frightened, panic, or even hopeful or curious. They may also use threatening language.
  • Check – always check if a message or call is genuine if you have the slightest doubts. But do not use the contact details in the message but the details from your bank card or statements, or the official website. If responding to a phone call, firstly hang up, wait for at least 10 minutes before calling back, or just use a different phone, as criminals may keep the line open,

And finally

  • Your Bank will never ask you for sensitive information over the phone, nor will they ever ask you to move funds into a different account, or hand over cards or cash to a courier
  • Fraudsters can use “Number Spoofing” to emulate a genuine Bank phone number, so if you are unsure, hang up, let the line clear then ring back on the number on your bank card. To report any fraud or attempted fraud dial 159 to contact the Fraud Department of most of the major banks
  • It is always advisable to delete any suspicious emails without opening them, and then clear your “Deleted Items” as well, for extra security

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