Bedfordshire residents warned to be on their guard as telephone scammers set to cash in this Christmas

People in Bedfordshire are being warned to be extra vigilant this Christmas as scam callers hope to cash in during the festive period.

As people rush around in the run-up to Christmas scammers are ready to strike and take advantage of distracted people who may say 'yes' to something without checking if it is genuine.

Police

Police

In a bid to beat the scammers this Christmas, CPR Call Blocker - makers of the world’s best-selling call blocking device - have compiled the top five active scams that people in Bedfordshire should watch out for this festive season:

HMRC Scam – you may get a call from someone claiming to be from HMRC saying there is an issue with your tax refund or an unpaid tax bill. They leave a message asking you to call back. HMRC would never contact you in this way and ask for personal information and bank details.

Bank Scam – someone may call claiming to be from your bank saying there’s a problem with your card or account. They may ask for your account, card and PIN details. They may also advise transferring your money to a ‘safe’ account to protect it. A bank would never ask you to do this.

Amazon Prime Scam – you may get a call from someone claiming to be from Amazon Prime saying you have been charged for an annual subscription. They then tell you that fraudsters have hacked your account to authorise payment, but it can be cancelled if you press 1 and then give access to your bank account in order to undo the hack. Amazon Prime would never ask you to do this.

Computer Repair Scam – someone calls claiming to be from a well-known IT firm such as Microsoft to tell you your computer has a virus. They will ask you to download ‘anti-virus software’ which may cost but also turns out to be spyware, used to get your personal details. IT companies don't contact customers this way.

Number Spoofing Scam – Scammers have the technology to mimic an official telephone number so it shows on your caller ID. This can trick you into thinking the call is legitimate. If in doubt, hang up and call the organisation directly using a number you have sourced. Wait at least 10 minutes before making the call as scammers can keep the phone line open for a short while, meaning you will still be connected to the scammer.

CPR Call Blocker hopes to make people in Bedfordshire aware that scammers are becoming more inventive and if something sounds too good to be true or out of the ordinary, then it could well be a scam.

Chelsea Davies from CPR Call Blocker said: “Many of us can feel distracted, stressed and tired by the seemingly never-ending stream of tasks at this time of year.

"And when we’re feeling frazzled, it can be too easy to say “yes” to something without checking first whether it’s genuine.

"And then with many of us spending more time at home over Christmas, we’re there to pick up more calls.

"This makes for the perfect storm for scammers. So, while you’re thinking about gift ideas and what’s next on TV, scammers are thinking about getting their hands on your cash this festive season."

The CPR suite of call blockers are available from www.cprcallblocker.com or by calling 0800 652 7780.