Officers from the North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU) have today executed magistrates search warrants at a number of addresses in the South Shields and Gateshead areas in a joint operation with the North East Immigration Crime Team and local officers. The operation was part of co-ordinated enforcement activity which also encompassed addresses in the Bolton and Burton on Trent areas of the UK and was targeting men who were involved in complex and organised fraud. Four men have been arrested for conspiracy to commit fraud, along with one woman arrested for money laundering and three men in connection with immigration offences, as part of the operation, and they are currently assisting police with their enquiries at police stations in South Shields, Bolton, and Burton on Trent.
Detective Inspector Traci McNally, who heads up NERSOU’s fraud team, said: “This activity came about as a consequence of a number of victims being defrauded of thousands of pounds during vishing scams. A vishing scam is where a fraudster contacts a person by telephone, convincing them that their bank account has been compromised, and then persuades them to transfer their funds into what they believe is a new holding account. Sadly it is usually the case that the new bank accounts are under the control of the fraudsters, meaning that the funds are then withdrawn and the poor victim is left with nothing. I would urge members of the public to be vigilant and to always take steps to check directly with their own banks before agreeing to transfer money.â€™