There have been a spate of scams in the Devon and Cornwall areas recently and the Police are appealing to both residents and public alike to be more aware and to exercise more care when parting with money.
The scams follow no particular pattern and are varied in their presentation. They are conducted over the telephone, on the internet, by fax, through the post and even in person. The Police are warning residents these scams appear to be increasing and have appealed for greater vigilance.
There have been many reports of payments having been made for items reportedly advertised on sites such as Gumtree and eBay. After having made the payment, the expected goods never arrive. Other forms of scams are those that claim to be lottery representatives and ask for an upfront payment before the winnings can be released.
Many people have suffered losses after having provided their banking account details to so called banking agents who claim to owe them money. The money, although promised, never reaches the bank account and in many cases funds are withdrawn from the victim’s account instead.
In most cases the scams appear to be very believable but unfortunately once a person has parted with money it will never be returned. It is extremely difficult to differentiate between a genuine appeal and a scam but if the offer sounds too good to be true, then it more than likely is a scam.
Many of these crimes are not reported to the authorities as many feel embarrassed at being caught in a scam. The police are working with crime victims and all details are passed to investigating agencies both here and abroad. The police have advised the public to visit the various websites to increase their awareness and prevent them becoming another scam victim.