FRAUDSTERS have become ever more cunning in targetting victims and North Yorkshire Police have launched a six-month awareness campaign to help the public protect themselves.

Titled "Take Five North Yorkshire", the campaign is designed to help the public to recognise fraudulent activity and confidently challenge any requests for personal or financial details.

The campaign reinforces the official advice developed for the national "Take Five to Stop Fraud" campaign, a partnership between the Government and UK Finance, with support from the banking industry.

The campaign aims to encourage people to take a moment to stop and think before parting with their money or personal details.

Take Five North Yorkshire specifically focuses on the most common enablers of fraud within the county; phone, online sales and email.

It comes as criminals increasingly use sophisticated impersonation frauds to trick members of the public into giving away their personal or financial information.

In these deceptions, fraudsters contact victims by phone, email or text pretending to represent a trusted organisation, such as a bank, and request further information such as a full password or PIN.

This information is then used by criminals to access customer accounts, withdraw money or make card payments.

Fraudsters also trick victims into transferring money directly into a safe account or into the account of a supposed trusted organisation.

The Take Five North Yorkshire campaign highlights these techniques to help the public recognise them; and encourages everyone to question uninvited approaches and never give out personal or financial details.

Speaking on the launch of the new campaign, Detective Inspector Jon Hodgeon, Head of North Yorkshire Police’s Major Fraud and Economic Crime Unit said: “Fraud remains a widespread problem both nationally and right here in North Yorkshire and tackling it is a top priority for North Yorkshire Police.

“Fraudsters are becoming increasingly sophisticated in the way that they ruthlessly target people and businesses for their hard-earned money.”

Anyone suspecting they are a victim should call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.