This webpage aims to keep you updated
with reported scams that Dorset Police has been made aware
The incidents and details reported on
this webpage may not necessarily be criminal offences. However,
this information is provided to you in the hope that it keeps you
informed about possible scams or high pressured cold calling in
Dorset so that you can guard against falling victim to
Scam Buster Archives >
3 December 2012
Action Fraud – the new national reporting centre for all fraud
and cyber crime – is now live in Dorset.
means that members of the public and businesses should report
incidents of fraud to this ‘one stop shop’ rather than to their
local police force. However, to report a crime in progress or where
life is at risk you should continue to call 999.
How to contact Action Fraud
Call 0300 123 2040 or visit http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
to report a scam or fraud.
While Action Fraud is a reporting service, it also provides
victims with advice and guidance on how to limit their chances of
becoming a repeat victim of this type of crime.
It also provides the latest information and advice regarding
types of scams and fraud and therefore a direct link to the Action
Fraud website will replace this scambusters web page as of Monday
Get Safe Online Week
Get Safe Online Week is a national awareness campaign which runs
from Monday 22 to Friday 26 October 2012.
The campaign promotes online safety tips and advice covering
areas such as protecting your computer, fraud prevention, scams,
safe online shopping and safe social networking.
Follow this link to go to the Get
Safe Online website or click here for more information.
24 October 2012
Pension bonus telephone scam
Residents are being advised to be aware of a pension bonus
The scammers are telephoning people and stating they are from
the Pension Helpline. The caller then claims that the victim is due
a £1,000 bonus within the next 12 weeks. The caller may even be
able to provide some of the victim’s personal information such as
name or address.
Dorset Police advice is, as ever, never provide any personal
information to a cold caller. Always telephone the company directly
from a number on your paperwork or get the number from a telephone
directory to confirm if the call was genuine.
You can register both your landline and mobile numbers with the
following free services and are advised to do so on a yearly
- The Telephone Preference Service – 0845 070 0707
- Silent Call Guard – 0844 372 2325
If you believe you have been the victim of any such scam then
you should also report the matter to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040
or report it on their website: http://www.actionfraud.org.uk/report_fraud
14 August 2012
Members of the public should not be tricked
into sending money to scammers who use emails to ask for loans that
will never be paid back.
These emails may also appear to be sent from
an email address that the victim knows. This is because the
scammers have hacked into the victim’s email contacts.
In the emails, scammers claim to have suffered
some bad luck – for example, being robbed or mugged – during a
holiday and ask the victim to loan them money to cover their costs
of returning home.
The scammer asks the victim to reply to the
email to arrange the easiest way to transfer money to them. This is
a scam, and members of the public should not reply to fraudulent
emails like this.
An example of one of these emails is provided
Am so sorry you will be getting this message this point in time, I
traveled on an impromptu trip with my family to Madrid,Spain some
days Back. Our trip was fun till yesterday evening on our way
from the Cinemas, We got mugged at a taxi park.All cash, credit
Cards including our cell Phones were stolen away from us but thank
God we still have our lives and passport with us. We've been to the
embassy over here but we are told to wait for at least 48Hours
before anything can be done to assist us. The main problem
now is that our return Flight leaves very soon and i need your Help
with a Quick loan of €2,500 EUR to settle the hospital Bills,
hotel bills and take a cab to the airport.I promise to refund the
money immediately i return back Home. Please let me know so that i
can let you know of the easiest way to get the money wired to I owe
you a lot & apologize for any inconveniences this might have
Awaiting your response.
28 July 2012
Olympic ticket website warning
The Met Police are today warning members of
the public who may have bought tickets for the London Olympic and
Paralympic Games through the website
www.liveolympictickets.com that the site is not
authorised and they may not get their tickets.
Anyone who has bought a ticket for the Games from this website
is urged to:
- contact the company you originally tried to buy tickets
- contact your method of payment service provider and draw this
matter to their attention.
Detective Superintendent Nick Downing said:
“This website is not authorised to sell Olympic and Paralympic
tickets and people who have bought from them may find that they do
not receive any tickets or they are unable to get into the venue.
If you have bought any tickets for the Games from
liveolympictickets, please take action now.
The website has now been suspended as our investigation
Other websites that police have previously issued warnings about
The only way to buy tickets for this summer's Games, safely and
securely, is via www.london2012.com. If you buy
from an unofficial site or from a tout, you risk paying over the
odds for a ticket that may not exist, may not be genuine and you
risk not getting to see the Games. You should not travel unless you
have received the tickets you purchased.
If you believe you have been a victim of ticket related fraud,
please report it via the Action Fraud website: http://www.actionfraud.org.uk/
17 July 2012
Dorset Police is warning the public about a
scam email claiming to be from the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle
The email claims that the DVLA are upgrading
their database and all drivers are required to update and verify
their driver's license details. To do this, a web link is
The email goes on to claim that drivers who
refuse to upgrade their details within two weeks of receiving the
email will lose their driver's license and will have to take a
fresh driving test.
The DVLA has not sent
any such email, so if you receive one, please delete it
More details about this scam are available to
view on the Directgov website here: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Nl1/Newsroom/DG_194193
15 June 2012
Advertising space scam
Dorset Police is warning small businesses to
be on their guard against scammers claiming to be selling
advertising space in a community magazine.
On some occasions, the caller even claims to
be a police officer selling space in a Dorset Police magazine.
Please be aware, Dorset Police does not
produce any such magazine, and we would not cold call businesses to
sell advertising space.
Through the scam, the victim pays money into a
bank account or pays by credit/debit card but no proofs are ever
received and the magazine is not produced.
28 May 2012
Possible online bank fraud
Members of the public are being warned to be on their guard
against a possible scam where the victim receives an email asking
them to update their bank account information following a recent
system security update and system maintenance.
This email, which has been reported to the
Force, claims to be from the Co-Operative Bank. However, other scam
emails of this nature may also claim to be from other well known
and established banks.
This email says that the victim should
re-update their bank account information by downloading a security
update web form and submitting it to them.
Members of the public are advised not to
provide their bank details to any organisation, unless they are
100% certain that the organisation is genuine and not
16 May 2012
Possible recovery scam
Members of the public are being encouraged to
be on their guard against a possible scam where the victim receives
a letter from a recovery company that claims the victim has an
outstanding bill that needs to be paid within 24 hours.
The letter provides a telephone number for the
victim to ring. When the victim phones the number, they are told to
provide their bank account details over the phone or to go and
physically draw some money out and pay it into a specific bank
Members of the public should not provide bank
details or cash to anyone or any organisation that they suspect may
If you believe you have been the victim of a
scam, contact Dorset Police on 101 or contact Action Fraud on 0300
5 April 2012
Advertising space scam
Police are encouraging businesses to be on
their guard against a scam which claims to be selling advertising
In this scam, the victim is contacted by a
company claiming to produce a publication that focuses on crime
prevention and tackling rogue traders. The caller will try and
encourage the victim to buy advertising space in the publication
and may also offer a 10% discount if the victim pays early.
The victim may also be contacted by the
offender again, chasing the payment.
Businesses should only agree to pay for
advertising space in publications that they know are genuine. Do
not allow yourself to be pressured into paying for something that
you are unsure about.
28 March 2012
Amazon scam warning
Members of the public are being warned not to
respond to a spam email that claims to be from Amazon.
The email reads as follows:
Dear Amazon Account Holder,
You have an Important message from
the Amazon. Your Amazon account will be restricted if you do not
view and respond.
Click the below link to view
[Scam website address
If anyone receives an email like this, they
should not respond or provide any details. If possible, please
forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org or
visit the Amazon website for more information by following this
link - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html?ie=UTF8&nodeId=15340571
6 March 2012
Warning to retailers abour credit card scam
Dorset Police is encouraging retailers to be
aware of scams where offenders purchase items over the phone to be
collected by using stolen credit or debit cards.
The offenders usually send a taxi to collect
the purchased items.
However, when the genuine card holder
discovers that their card has been used illegally to purchase
items, they contact their bank who invariably operate a
‘chargeback’ which takes the money back out of the retailers
The type of items being purchased by these
offenders are ones which are easy to sell on online auction sites,
like baby clothes, spa products and high value electrical
Retailers should be cautious about such
transactions, and contact their financial institutions with regard
to precautions they can take.
Online pet purchasing scam
People buying pets online are being warned not
to fall victim to scams.
Through this scam, pets (most often dogs) are
advertised for sale online, with buyers purchasing the animals
after they’ve been sent photos of the pet by the seller. The seller
generally agrees to deliver the pet by courier.
However, the pet never arrives. In some cases,
the victim even receives an email saying that the animal has become
ill en route and so the victim must pay additional vet or insurance
The advice to purchasers is to be extremely
cautious when purchasing goods – including pets – online from
Online car purchasing scam
Dorset Police is warning people purchasing
cars online to be on their guard against a scam that leaves them
conned out of money, and without a car.
The scam works by the offender advertising a
car for sale on an online site such as Auto Trader, eBay or Gum
Tree. The car will, apparently, be located a considerable distance
away from the purchaser to make it too far away for them to go and
look at it.
The victim likes the look of the car from what
they’ve seen online, and thinks they are getting a good deal, so
they agree to buy it.
However, the car does not turn up because it
never existed. The offender has used a picture of a car previously
The offender may also give a sob story about
having been previously messed around by timewasters, and so asks
the victim to deposit money in Western Union in victim’s name or
the name of someone known to victim.
The offender convinces the victim that they
would then not actually be able to get to the money as
ID would be required. The
offender asks for the payment reference number and the name given
so that they can, apparently, check that the money has been
deposited. However, the offender then turns up at Western Union
with false ID in the name
given and is able to obtain the funds.
20 February 2012
Public warned not to fall victim to credit card scams
Police are encouraging the public to be on their guard against
credit card scams, after two recent offences targeted older members
of the community in Bournemouth.
The two offences, which both took place over the past month,
start with the victims receiving a telephone call from someone
claiming to be from their bank.
both cases, the caller stated that the victim’s debit or credit
card was about to expire and that a new one would be sent to them
via a courier.
The caller then asked for the victim’s pin number. Both of the
victims gave their pin numbers to the caller.
The next day, someone claiming to be the courier attended the
victim’s home address and exchanged the old card for a new one.
The victims have then had money taken out of their accounts.
Debbie Oldfield, Dorset Police
Crime Prevention Advisor, said: “These are callous crimes
which appear to have deliberately targeted older members of the
“It is so important that people do not hand over their pin
numbers or bank cards to anyone, no matter how genuine they appear
“Your bank will not ask for your pin number or any personal
information over the telephone.
“I am particularly keen to encourage family and friends of older
or vulnerable members of our community to help them and ensure that
they don't fall victim to these sorts of scams.
“If you believe that you may have been a victim of a scam like
this, then I’d urge you to call Dorset Police on 101
More fraud prevention advice can be found
on the Action Fraud website at http://www.actionfraud.org.uk/.
16 February 2012
Postal inheritance scam
Dorset Police is encouraging members of the
public to be aware of a scam letter that a large number of
residents in Weymouth have recently received.
The letter informs the resident that they are
a relative of someone who has recently died and that they have been
left a large sum of money.
The letter may be from someone claiming to be
from Hong Kong.
This is a scam and Dorset Police is advising
residents that receive this letter to ignore it.
7 February 2012
Credit card security number fraud
Dorset Police is encouraging members of the
public not to fall victim to a scam aimed at getting victims to
part with the three digit security number on their credit
During this scam, the victim receives a phone
call from someone claiming to be from Visa, Mastercard or a similar
company. They claim to be phoning from the Security and Fraud
Department and provide the victim with their badge number.
The caller says they are phoning because the
victim’s card has been flagged up for an unusual purchase pattern.
They ask if the victim has purchased an anti-telemarketing device
for £497.99 from a marketing company in London. When the victim
says no, the caller says they will issue a credit to the victim’s
account and then say that it will be sent to the victim’s home
address. The caller then reads the victim’s home address to the
victim. The caller then tells the victim if they have any questions
to phone the number on the back of their credit card and gives them
a six digit code to quote.
The caller then says they need to confirm that
the victim is in possession of their credit card and asks them to
read out the last three numbers on the back of the card – the three
digit security number. This is the information that they need to
illegally make purchases on your card – do not provide them
with this information. The caller already has the victim’s
name and card number, so they just need the three digit security
number in order to commit fraud.
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