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Issued by Cumbria Constabulary June 2015
Recently information has been received relating to a scam caller targeting local businesses purporting to be from Cumbria Police.
The caller claims that they are selling advertisement space for a website called communityguardian.co.uk
Cumbria Police can confirm that these calls are not affiliated to the force and that police would never request money from businesses or members of the public.
Police advise people to ignore or hang up calls of this nature. They also advise to be wary that they may ring back immediately following been hung up on and police ask that this be simply ignored.
Inspector Jon Sherlock, Community Safety Unit, said:
“Police officers will always identify themselves by name and the station they are attached to. Unfortunately there are people out there who will attempt to gain money fraudulently. I strongly advise anyone who receives calls like this to hang up immediately.
“If you are ever unsure if a call from the police is genuine, ask for the person’s name and then hang up. Using a different phone, as the caller may still be linked to yours, dial 101 and ask for that specific person – if they are genuine, the Communications Centre will be able to put you through to them.”
For more advice, please contact Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.org.uk or contact the Action Fraud Hotline on 0300 123 2040.
TCPW Comment: It might be worth noting that in my day the police did sometimes secure a little funding from local businesses for all manner of things, such as the production of a crime prevention leaflet or a newspaper insert or maybe for crime prevention works via the planning system – something called planning gain. However, I never went directly to the businesses, but instead used the services of a local publisher or a planning committee.
More recently a locksmith got in touch with me to let me know that he had been phoned by a 'crime prevention' publication in which he was invited to place an advert. The guy at the other end of the phone insisted that this was in conjuction with the local police and even listed the names of the local beat officers. This is no proof since this information is available on police websites and from www.police.uk. Furthermore, the caller gave a website address, which displayed the front covers of previous publications. On closer examination you could easily tell that the website was part of the scam.