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Coleraine police and business community highlight new fraud reporting arrangements

Coleraine police have teamed up with the local business community to raise awareness of new fraud reporting and investigative arrangements after the Police Service for Northern Ireland joined Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber-crime reporting centre.

The new arrangements mean that anyone who has been a victim of fraud should report it directly to Action Fraud, either online through the Action Fraud website www.actionfraud.police.uk or through a link on the PSNI website www.psni.police.uk or by telephone to the Action Fraud reporting centre on 0300 123 2040.

Action Fraud takes all fraud and cyber-crime reports in the UK and provides support to citizens through both the contact centre and its web-based channels. Fraud reports which are submitted through the service are sent via secure transfer to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) at the City of London Police which is the country’s policing lead for fraud.

Members of the public should only contact police about fraud in the following circumstances: • If it is a crime in action • If the crime has taken place within the previous 24 hours • If the perpetrator is known to them.

In these circumstances, callers should still ring PSNI on the non-emergency number 101 or in an emergency 999.

Last year (2014-15), a total of 1,896 frauds were reported to PSNI. Figures from Action Fraud show that in the past five months, a total of 541 frauds have been reported in Northern Ireland. The Annual Fraud Indicator 2013 estimates that fraud and cyber-crime costs the UK economy £52 billion every year. This money is often used to fund crimes like drug smuggling, terrorism and people trafficking.

Causeway Coast and Glens Chief Inspector Catherine Magee said: “Action Fraud is now the primary contact point for reporting fraud and cyber-crime. We believe the service offered by Action Fraud is the best way of dealing with this important issue, both in terms of investigating such crime and building up a clearer understanding of fraud and fraudsters.

“It makes sense to join this national reporting service which will help to free up finite police resources to focus on those fraud investigations with viable lines of enquiry. Local people and businesses should feel the benefit of that also.”

President of Causeway Chamber of Commerce, Ian Donaghey MBE added: “It’s excellent that PSNI are joining Action Fraud. We acknowledge that fraud and cyber crime are a growing problem in today’s society and we encourage local businesses to report to the service so that Action Fraud and PSNI can have a clear picture of the current scale of fraud and the threat which it poses. If frauds go unreported it allows the fraudsters to operate under the radar and commit crime with no consequence.

The most convenient way to report to Action Fraud is online. Online reporting of fraud and cyber crime is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through www.actionfraud.police.uk. Telephone reporting is also available on 0300 123 2040 - opening hours apply. If a crime is established, victims will be provided with a crime reference number.

If an immediate police response is required, i.e. where the suspect is very near and / or the victim is at risk, the public should continue to dial 999. For further details about Action Fraud please refer to their website, www.actionfraud.police.uk.

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