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Gloucestershire Business News

Police warning as phone scammers claim to be from Amazon

Police are warning people to be alert after a series of fraudulent phone calls in recent days claiming to be from Amazon.

The scammers have been contacting people to tell them that their account has been targeted by fraudsters and that they must download software to protect themselves.

The software download grants the real fraudster remote access to the victim's computer and allows them to see the victim's personal and financial details.

In the latest incident last Thursday (26 November), the victim received numerous calls from the criminals throughout the day, which could have resulted in them losing £90,000. Fortunately, the victim's bank became suspicious about the high amount being transferred and alerted police.

Two other reports of similar phone calls being made to people in Gloucestershire have been reported to the Force during the last two weeks.

Detective Sergeant Simon Shaw said: "Telephone fraudsters will try to panic and frighten you into following their instructions. There is usually a threatened consequence such as having your internet service terminated or getting into trouble with the authorities.

"No legitimate company or agency would ever want to remote-access your computer, ask you to transfer money into a "safe" bank account, or instruct you to pay for something with e-vouchers or a money service bureau.

"If you've received an unexpected phone call, text message, or email, don't respond or comply with the demand. Instead, take five minutes to think about whether an organisation would really contact you in this way.

"Please also share this advice with anyone whom you think may be vulnerable to this type of fraud."

The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is free and can help reduce the number of nuisance and scam calls you receive. To register, visit: https://www.tpsonline.org.uk/register.

Additional advice to help stop you from becoming a victim of fraud includes:

• If you believe you are being targeted by a scammer hang up the phone and use a different phone line to call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or the police on 101, as scammers have a way to stay on the line and will pretend to be the police when you call back.

• If you don't have access to a different phone line, wait for a period of time and try calling a family member or friend first to make sure the scammer is no longer on the line.

• Just because someone knows basic details about you like your address or date of birth, it doesn't mean they are genuine employees of a company.

• Always question suspicious phone calls and report them to Action Fraud or the police.

• Always have a pad and pen next to the phone, if you get a suspicious call, take details, don't get flustered, get names addresses and contact numbers. Then, disconnect the call. Walk away from the phone for at least five minutes and then contact Gloucestershire Constabulary to verify the details of the call.

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