Hertfordshire police warn residents to beware of Amazon Prime phone fraudsters
Police in Hertfordshire are warning residents of an increase in fraudulent phone messages across the county.
People are receiving voicemail messages saying that they are going to be billed for a subscription to Amazon Prime, a service that gives customers of the tech giant access to services such as free two-day delivery and streaming music and video among other benefits.
The message directs recipients to press '1' on their phone keypad to speak to an account manager, after which they are connected to a fraudster who then demands the victim's bank details to cancel the subscription.
The scammers have also been asking victims to download an app called 'Team Viewer'. Once this has been installed on a device, the criminals gain remote access to it and all the personal data that is stored on it.
Elaine Crate, from Hertfordshire Constabulary's victim fraud hub, said: "Amazon will never contact its customers via a phone message and ask you to divulge personal and bank details in this way.
"We advise never to click on any links or download apps under these circumstances. Inform your bank immediately if you think you have downloaded a suspect app and do not use your device until it has been analysed by a security professional.
"If you do think you may have given bank details to a fraudster, then please contact your bank immediately to advise them what has happened."
You can report the incident to Action Fraud by phone on 0300 123 2040 or online at www.actionfraud.police.uk. Action Fraud is the UK's national reporting centre for fraud. Alternatively, if you consider yourself vulnerable, call 101 to be connected to Hertfordshire Constabulary.
Elaine said: "Please help us to raise awareness by sharing this warning with your friends and family, especially if they are vulnerable or elderly."
Hertfordshire Constabulary offers the following crime prevention advice:
* Be sceptical of callers, even those who claim to be officials.
* Don't be afraid to put the phone down with a brief 'No, thank you'.
* NEVER give personal information, such as your date of birth or bank details, to unexpected callers.
* Remember that the police or your bank would NEVER unexpectedly call you and ask you to withdraw cash or move your money to another account, as a result of fraud or any other reason.
* If callers suggest you call your local police or bank to check who they are, use another phone or ensure the line has been fully disconnected by phoning a friend or relative first, or by waiting at least five minutes, otherwise you may think you've phoned a number but you're simply talking to the fraudsters again. This is a common fraudsters' tactic.
* If a caller asks you to type your bank PIN into your phone handset, do not do this as fraudsters can use technology to identify the numbers.
* You can opt out of many cold calls by registering for free with the Telephone Preference Service on 0845 070 0707.