NORTH-East businesses are calling for the newly elected police and crime commissioner (PCC) for Cleveland to work with them to tackle increasing levels of fraud.
Active Chartered Financial Planners, a Stockton-based finance specialist, Cyberwhite, a cyber security specialist with offices in Middlesbrough and Sunderland, and Lemon Business Solutions, an outsourcing partner in Stockton, are inviting PCC Steve Turner, to discuss how police and businesses can work together to tackle the increasing levels of financial, data and identity fraud.
Scamming and fraud is becoming increasingly common and creative, afflicting huge numbers of individuals and businesses.
In a recent poll by the Money Saving expert, 97 per cent of more than 30,000 people said they had fallen for, or nearly fallen for, a scam by text, call, email, online advertisement, door knocking or social media. Only 16.6 per cent of frauds are being reported to the Crime Survey for England and Wales.
Karl Pemberton, managing director of Active Financial Planners, said: “With more than £500 million lost to bank transfer fraud in the UK in 2020, it is crucial that the police and crime commissioner put tackling fraud at the heart of his agenda.
“Scams like the ‘get rich quick’ investments into cryptocurrencies advertised on social media sites let fraudsters easily invite people to part with their personal details including credit card details and driving licences. With the help of Mr Turner, we can try and find a way to put a stop to the scams.”
David Horn, director of Cyberwhite, said: “Fraudsters are coming up with more and more creative techniques to scam people out of money and data. It is imperative that people and businesses are aware of the signs of fraud and as a cyber security expert, we are looking forward to working with Mr Turner PCC to reduce the number of scams that individuals in the North-East receive and respond to.”
Martin Anderson, chief executive officer at Lemon Business Solutions, said: “As an outsourced contact centre, we specialise in ensuring that all the data that we process remains safe and confidential but we are conscious that this isn’t the case in every business, it is therefore critically important that we raise awareness of the issue of data theft to help prevent businesses in our area being swindled out of huge sums of money, and I look forward to working with Mr Turner to tackle the relentless scams occurring in our region.”
Responding, Mr Turner said: “I wholeheartedly welcome the opportunity to speak with business leaders about their experiences of fraud and how we can best tackle this rising problem in our society. As we live more and more of our lives online, criminals have come up with increasingly inventive ways of stealing or cloning the identities of individuals and businesses to relieve them of their hard earned income.
“We must send a clear message to the scammers that we know they are out there, we know how they operate and we’re waiting for their next move to catch them in the act. Innocent, and often vulnerable people, will not be forgotten because the crimes committed against them too often go unseen.”