GMP ECONOMIC CRIME UNIT RECOVERS OVER £3M FOR VICTIMS OF FRAUD
Last year, the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) Economic Crime Unit recovered over £3 million for victims of fraud.
The unit focusses on getting money back for victims where they can, as well as working to educate the public on the latest scams, what to look out for and how to protect themselves and their hard earned money.
Towards the beginning of last year, when the pandemic began, the team saw a rise in scams relating to the coronavirus so worked to put out warnings on their dedicated Twitter account, as well as using posters to signpost people to information. The hub also worked with local supermarkets who were offering a delivery service to the most vulnerable, to include an information pack produced by GMP’s Economic Crime and Cyber Unit, in customer's deliveries.
The hub also includes a volunteer team – the Scambusters, who offer peer-to-peer support to those who have been a victim of fraud by giving practical help and advice to prevent them falling victim again. The team would ordinarily be based at Nexus House in Ashton-under-Lyne however, when the coronavirus restrictions were introduced, asking people to stay at home as much as possible, five of the volunteer Scambusters continued their important work by carrying out their duties from home. This resulted in 2,500 calls being made in 2020 to vulnerable members of the community and support being offered.
Detective Superintendent Estelle Mathieson, Head of GMP’s Economic Crime and Cyber Unit, said:
"The primary aim of the Economic Crime and Cyber Unit is to ensure that the public are informed of and protected against fraud and cybercrime, and this year the unit has adapted to fraudsters taking advantage of the vulnerability the pandemic has brought and ensured that information got out to the public quickly.
"Fraud has a lasting impact on victims – it leaves them out of pocket and can take an emotional toll. The unit works to support those victims in not only recovering funds, but also giving them the tools to avoid becoming victim again in the future.
"I would continue to encourage people to follow the advice posted on our @gmpfraud Twitter account, and if you do suspect you have been a victim of fraud report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.”
One of the victims the team has supported was a couple from Wales who were targeted by a fraudster thought to be living in Manchester. The couple were scammed out of their £170,000 life savings, when they responded to an email claiming to have come from their investment company asking for payment. They transferred the money however; the email had actually come from a fraudster who had changed the bank details to their own. They reported the incident, known as mandate fraud, to Action Fraud and it was passed to the GMP Economic Crime Hub, who worked with the bank to have the couples account frozen and the full amount of money recovered.The couple, who wish to stay unnamed, said:
"We would like to thank GMP for their hard work getting our money back and the advice they gave us.
"Words can't explain how grateful we are and feel very lucky to have received all our money back in full."
Police are appealing for information following the rape of a woman in Salford.
At around 12.15am on Sunday 24 January 2021, police received a report that a woman had been raped in her home in the Walkden area.
An investigation was launched and enquiries have established that, between 10.30pm and 11pm on Saturday 23 January 2021, a man entered the property via an unlocked rear door and raped the female occupant.
The man is described as being white, 6ft tall, 'well built' and 35-40 years old with a ginger beard and tattoo on one of his arms. At the time of the incident, he was wearing a black baseball cap with a white tick, a blue jacket, a white t-shirt, jeans and trainers with a silver emblem.
Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Jenkins, of GMP's Salford district, said:
Anyone with information should contact police on 0161 856 5168 quoting 61 24/01/21 or the independent charity - Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
TWO MEN ARRESTED AFTER HOUSE SEARCH IN PRESTWICH AS PART OF AN OPERATION AGAINST ORGANISED CRIME IN SALFORDBy KARL
Two men have been arrested and dozens of weapons seized from a house in Prestwich by officers dedicated to GMP's operation to tackle organised crime in Salford.
Around 45 weapons, including bladed weapons, imitation firearms and a crossbow, were recovered during a house search in the Rainsough area on Sunday afternoon.
Patrols from Operation Naseby - GMP’s dedicated operation into tackling serious and organised crime in Salford - were driving through the Swinton area on Sunday 3 January when they stopped a vehicle suspected of being involved in class A drug supply.
A 54-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs.
A subsequent house search in the Rainsough area of Prestwich was conducted and numerous weapons were recovered - 32 swords and knives; 12 imitation firearms; and a crossbow.
Also seized were a large quantity of class A drugs estimated to be worth between £15,000 and £20,000.
A second man - aged 55 - was also arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs.
Both men have been questioned by officers and released pending further enquiries.
Forensic examinations of all the items recovered by police are underway.
The work is part of Op Naseby's disruption hub - formed in April 2020 to reduce the activity of local organised crime groups.
Since the inception of the disruption hub, there have been 144 arrests, 147 vehicles recovered, and 59 house searches.
Detective Inspector Rebecca Mills, of GMP's Salford district, said:
Anyone with information is encouraged to directly contact police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
At around 2.50pm on Monday 28 December 2020, police were called by paramedics responding to a report of two injured males in Buile Hill Park off Eccles Old Road.
Officers attended and established that three males, aged 18, 17 and 14, had been assaulted.
They were taken to hospital and are expected to make a full recovery.
Police have now launched an investigation and are appealing to members of the public who may have witnessed the incident to get in touch.
DS Roger Jones, of GMP's Salford district, said:
Anyone with information should contact police on 0161 856 2079 quoting 1474 28/12/20 or the independent charity - Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.