Have you ever seen a social media post about something and wondered if it was true? Many of us have received information of a scam or fallen for a hoax but you shouldnâ€™t feel bad about it: these types of messages are carefully designed to look real. Scammers and fraudsters know that we respond automatically to things; weÂ may not think to question what we believe to be true.Â Sometimes people contact Crimestoppers because theyâ€™ve seen a post, message, text or a phone call that appears to have come from us. Here is how to tell if something is an official notice from Crimestoppers:
Official messages about crime will always be provided to the public via our website (www.crimestoppers-uk.org) or our blog (https://blog.crimestoppers-uk.org), official social media channels (Twitter,Â Facebook,Â Instagram) or the media. Crimestoppers does not contact people via WhatsApp. We do not and cannot call people from our anonymous information reporting phone line 0800 555 111.
A group of scammers is falsely using our 0800 555 111 number on telephone displays in a bid to make calls seem genuine. The scammers are calling people, saying they are â€œCrimestoppers at the Home Officeâ€ then asking for personal details.
The truth about this scam:
We are not calling people. We do not and cannot call people from 0800 555 111. We would never ask for personal details like this.
What to do if you get a call claiming to be from Crimestoppers:
There is a scam involving Better Media Solutions. You may have received a phone call fromÂ this company,Â claiming thatÂ they are selling advertising space in a Crime Prevention Booklet that we support. After sending you a â€œmock-upâ€ of the booklet, they also send you an invoice asking for Â£595.
We do not work with a company called Better Media Solutions. We do not support or endorse their booklet. Any use of Crimestoppers imagery in this booklet is unauthorised.
What to do if you are contacted by Better Media Solutions:
You may have received a WhatsApp or social media message or email with the following message:
Important message from Crime Stoppers, please readâ€¦
While driving on a rural end of the roadway on Thursday morning, I saw an infant car seat on the side of the road with a blanket draped over it. For whatever reason, I did not stop, even though I had all kinds of thoughts running through my head. But when I got to my destination, I called the Police and they were going to check it out. But, this is what the Police advised even before they went out there to checkâ€¦.
â€œThere are several things to be aware of â€¦ Gangs and thieves mostly from Eastern Europe are now plotting different ways to get a person (mostly women)to stop their vehicle and get out of the car.
â€œThere is a gang initiation reported by the local Police where gangs are placing a car seat by the roadâ€¦with a fake baby in itâ€¦waiting for a woman, of course, to stop and check on the abandoned baby. â€œNote that the location of this car seat is usually beside a wooded or grassy (field) area and the person â€” woman â€” will be dragged into the woods, beaten and raped, and usually left for dead. If itâ€™s a man, theyâ€™re usually beaten and robbed and maybe left for dead, too.
DO NOT STOP FOR ANY REASON!!! DIAL 9-9-9 AND REPORT WHAT YOU SAW, BUT DONâ€™T EVEN SLOW DOWN.
â€œIF YOU ARE DRIVING AT NIGHT AND EGGS ARE THROWN AT YOUR WINDSCREEN, DO NOT STOP TO CHECK THE CAR, DO NOT OPERATE THE WIPER AND DO NOT SPRAY ANY WATER BECAUSE EGGS MIXED WITH WATER BECOME MILKY AND BLOCK YOUR VISION UP TO 92.5%, AND YOU ARE THEN FORCED TO STOP BESIDE THE ROAD AND BECOME A VICTIM OF THESE CRIMINALS.
THIS IS A NEW TECHNIQUE USED BY GANGS, SO PLEASE INFORM YOUR FRIENDS AND RELATIVES. THESE ARE DESPERATE TIMES AND THESE ARE UNSAVOURY INDIVIDUALS WHO WILL TAKE DESPERATE MEASURES TO GET WHAT THEY WANT.â€
Please talk to your loved ones about this. This is a new tactic used. Please be safe.
Get started NOW â€” SEND THIS MESSAGE TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES TO BE CAREFUL AND AWARE OF EVERYTHING AROUND THEM SO AS NOT TO BECOME A VICTIM.
The truth about this hoax:
This hoax isÂ an urban legend designed to spread fear and alarm in communities. There is no suggestion that these sorts of attacks are currently taking place. The message has not come from Crimestoppers.
What to do if you receive this message:
For more information about frauds and scams, visit the Fighting Fraud pages on the Crimestoppers website