This is how easily scammers can target you

People in Lincolnshire are being scammed out of thousands of pounds, so police have been out on the streets of Lincoln to demonstrate just how easy it is to fall foul of fraudsters.

Lincolnshire Police set up a coffee shop today in St Marks Square with the promise of free coffee and cake for personal details.

Shoppers were asked for their email address, phone number and other details like the name of their pets.

It’s the information that many of us are prepared to hand over, but the police say that those details are just what scammers need.

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Stuart Tweedale, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, told The Lincolnite: “We have had around 30 people talking to us today, and the majority of them give their information away too easily.

“People should challenge anyone who asks for their personal information. We wanted to set up this cafe to see just how easily people will give their information away.”

Angela Lambert, crime reduction and tactical adviser, told The Lincolnite: “There is a lot of embarrassment and shame from people who have been scammed.

“The scams are changing all of the time. A big one at the moment is where people are persuaded to go out and buy thousands of pounds of iTunes vouchers.

“If someone gives away their details and money to scammers, then they will be targeted again and again.”

Lincolnshire Police have provided these tips to avoid scammers and keep your information safe:

  • Never share account information
  • Be careful about the information you share on social media
  • Have up-to-date security and software on your computer
  • Use a strong and separate password for your email account
  • Take care when using public Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Arrange for paperless bills and statements
  • File sensitive documents securely
  • Beware of giving out information for surveys and vouchers