Action Fraud, the Police's fraud prevention service, have received 85 reports since January 2017, all bogus calls inviting them to apply for Government grants in return for an advance fee.
Once an online application form has been filled out with personal information, the fraudsters contact victims, congratulating them on being accepted onto the fake grant programme.
Applicants are then asked to provide identification and are instructed to get a pre-paid card to deposit their own contribution to the fake Government grant scheme.
Sadly, the grant funds are never given by the fraudsters and the money that’s been loaded onto the card by the victim is stolen.
Temporary Detective Chief Inspector, Lara Xenoudakis, of the City of London Police, said: ‟Under the guise of the UK Government, fraudsters are taking advantage of peoples’ trust by setting up convincing fake websites. The NFIB is working hard take down these websites and prevent people from falling victim however, we are urging people to be cautious. A legitimate Government grant scheme would never expect to receive an upfront payment in return for the grant, so it is important that anyone who believes they may have been contacted by these fraudsters makes a report to Action Fraud.”
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has so far disrupted one website that was being used to commit this fraud and it is working with Companies House to identify other fake companies and disrupt fraudulent websites in their name.
sourcepeoples healthtrust 11.01.18