A pensioner conned out of his hard-earned cash by cruel fraudsters has praised officers for their rapid response and friendly advice.
Last month we received a report an 85-year-old man had been targeted by scammers who pretended they were Microsoft technicians, calling to help fix his software problems.
The man, who lives in South Tyneside, had been having issues with his computer, and so spent three hours on the phone to the con-artists, granting them remote access to his system.
By the end of the call, he had been conned out of £700 and 800 Euros, and a number of his passwords compromised.
After realising he had been duped, the man contacted ActionFraud – the national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre – and his case was immediately flagged to the Force.
PCs Nicola Goodfellow and Amanda Martin quickly attended the male’s address, tasked with safeguarding him from further scams and checking he was OK. The fast-acting pair issued valuable advice and helped him to reset his passwords and secure his devices.
Following the incident, the man issued a heartfelt thank you – complimenting the actions of PC Goodfellow and Martin.
In an email to our Professional Standards department, he wrote “I wish to compliment Northumbria Police for their rapid response to a cyber scam they dealt with on March 3.
“PC Nicola Goodfellow and PC Amanda Martin came to help me and they were very professional, friendly and patient while giving me advice.”
The man also praised the officers’ calibre and caring attitudes towards him.
Chief Inspector Paul Walters added: “Here in Northumbria, one of our top priorities is to make sure that those in our communities, especially the vulnerable, feel protected and supported.
“While this particular incident is being investigated by ActionFraud, it is only right that our officers attended and made sure the victim felt supported and was offered additional help and advice on how to keep himself safe from these despicable scam in the future. I’m pleased he had such a positive experience with PCs Goodfellow and Martin following what must have been a very stressful and traumatic situation for him.
“Our officers are dedicated to tackling fraud and cybercrime in all its forms and we’d encourage anyone who has had a similar experience or thinks they have fallen victim, to get in touch with us as soon as possible.”
Remember – reputable organisations will never cold-call you, asking or pressuring you into giving over personal information and bank details. Always stop and take a moment to think about who might be on the line, and remember it’s OK to refuse or ignore and requests.
Please contact us via 101 or Action Fraud immediately by calling 0300 123 2040. You can also report it online at the Action Fraud website.
To block cold-calls register your number with the Telephone Preference Service https://www.tpsonline.org.uk/register