Chief inspector Tom Leonard, who is taking over from chief inspector Graham Binnie as area commander for Perth and Kinross, is reminding local people of the danger of scam callers.
Bogus callers target trusting people who could be led into giving away personal information, such as their address or bank account details, over the phone.
Chief inspector Tom Leonard explained: “I would like to take this opportunity to remind people to take precautions whilst dealing with unsolicited callers, particularly for those that are still isolating during the lockdown.
“Bogus callers try to get into your home or obtain personal details by pretending to be someone they’re not, including council staff, charity collectors, meter readers and police officers. In reality, they are criminals trying to steal money and valuables.”
Ofcom, the regulator for communications in the United Kingdom, suggest that anyone who picks up the phone and thinks that they’re receiving a bogus call should stop, hang up and report.
First, that means stopping the conversation and not giving away any personal details over the phone.
Next you should hang up, and phone the organisation the bogus caller represents to check if they were legitimately contacting you.
Finally, you should report the caller to Action Fraud, an organisation who monitor scam calls in the UK.
Scam callers will target the people they think that they can exploit, they can be spotted by the manipulative language which they use over the phone.
The Citizens Advice Bureau explained: “Research concluded that scammers will use various manipulative tools to focus on our vulnerabilities and needs, whether that be loneliness, isolation, uncertainties and fears versus desire for money, a good deal, a new relationship etc.”
They say there are four keys to identifying a scammer. First is their sense of urgency over the phone, next is invoking an emotional response, trying generate legitimacy and attempting to sound authoritative.
That means using deadlines to pressure you into acting quickly, trying to make you feel scared that something bad could happen. They’ll mimic trustworthy organisations to do this while trying to sound in charge.
If you receive one of these phone calls, you should hang up the phone.
You can report the number to: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/