North Yorkshire Police have stepped up the fight against credit and debit card fraud.
Officers have teamed up with Visa Europe to provide police officers and PCSOs with a payment card crime guide which will enable them to identify at an early stage, false or cloned debit or credit cards and other equipment used by fraudsters.
The guide also provides information which aids the understanding and the application of the Fraud Act 2006 when dealing with payment card crime and associated offences.
This project is part of a European wide initiative sponsored by Visa Europe.
Detective Inspector Ian Wills who heads the Financial Investigation Unit at North Yorkshire Police, said: “This is an extremely useful addition to the toolbox in our drive to crack down on this type of crime.
“Every officer in the force has been sent a personal copy of the guide which will provide a greater understanding of card fraud, helping them to spot potential crimes quickly, in turn leading to swifter investigations and offenders brought to justice, minimising the distress caused to victims.
“We are very pleased to be working in partnership with Visa Europe and are grateful for their input and support for the project.”
Kevin Smith, Head of Fraud Management at Visa Europe, added: “This is a highly practical way of demonstrating the importance that Visa places on ensuring law enforcement officers have the appropriate tools and information to hand to more effectively identify and prevent payment card crime.”
Members of the public can also help added DI Wills, “Criminals use sophisticated technology and scams to defraud card holders and by being vigilant around cash machines and keeping their security details safe, they can help prevent themselves from becoming a victim” he said.
He issued the following advice to cash machine users:
Protect your PIN by standing close to the machine and shielding the key pad with your other hand.
Check to see if anything looks unusual or suspicious about the cash machine. If it appears to have anything stuck onto the card slot or key pad, do not use it. Cancel the transaction and walk away. Never try to remove suspicious devices, report them to the police immediately.
Be cautious if strangers offer to help you at a cash machine, even if your card is stuck or you’re having difficulties. Don’t allow anyone to distract you.
Where possible, use a cash machine which is in clear view and well lit.
Check that other people in the queue are a reasonable distance away from you.
Keep your PIN secret. Never reveal it to anyone, even someone who claims to be calling from your bank or a police officer.
Avoid opening your purse, bag or wallet when you are in the queue. Put your money away immediately.
Regularly check your account balance and bank statements, and report any discrepancies to your bank immediately.