The Force has asked employers to be vigilant following a national warning over the online sale of counterfeit trade cards.
Earlier this month, Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau raised the alarm over the sale of fake National Plant Operators Registration Scheme (NPORS) cards – a trusted form of accreditation for those working in construction, utilities, warehousing and agriculture.
The card is a record of training and assessments completed by workers and proves a person’s ability to safely operate drive machinery and equipment. Officers have warned the sale of counterfeit cards will lead to health and safety breaches as well as continuing to provide income for fraudsters.
Detective Sergeant Peter Booth from Northumbria Police’s Cyber Prevent team said: “For fraudsters, this appears to be a quick and easy way to make money at the expense of companies who provide thorough and robust training to workers across a range of different industries.
“They are taking advantage of people trying to find income in legitimate ways, who might not fully understand the training systems in place in those industries and in some cases, they risk putting people’s lives in danger.
“For employers, it is important that they can spot the signs of a counterfeit card as hiring someone without the relevant skills could have potentially dangerous consequences for their workforce.
“We would advise anyone with concerns to seek advice from Action Fraud and warn anyone tempted to buy one of these cards online that it is just not worth it.”
Employers with concerns are advised to check who issued the certificate/ card and search online to see if they are legitimate and accredited by the right professional bodies. They are also advised to check if the documents include the relevant details such as training dates and type of machinery the operator has been trained on.
For more advice, visit Action Fraud https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/