Community safety

"Replacement" Card Fraud

Your “bank” unexpectedly phones to tell you that your new credit/debit cards will be delivered to your home later today but, in reality, it is a fraudster trying to steal your bank or credit cards, and also your PIN. 

Later, a courier turns up on your doorstep ready to give you your “new cards” but then also asks you to hand over your old cards. He may even ask you to tell him the PINs. This is a “con trick” to get access to your cards. Even without the PIN, the fraudsters can still use your cards to spend £45 each time they swipe it in a shop, garage, etc, before you realise you’ve been the victim of fraud. 

If you receive a phone call like this, it’s not from the bank, it’s a fraudster. Just hang up!

Merton Fraud & Cyber Crime Warnings

Online Shopping

Continues to be the most prevalent, this is when victims are convinced into paying money for items that don’t exist or are counterfeit when shopping online. E.g. fake adverts on eBay.

       Stay on the website - follow procedure / terms and conditions.

       Never use direct bank transfers – use the websites recommended payment methods.

       Please see our animation for more details;


 Investment Fraud / Pyramid Schemes

Unfortunately, there was a large amount lost to a fraudulent shares / investment fraud.

Share sales & Investment Fraud are similar in that criminals may impersonate legitimate businesses and cold call victims, to persuade them to invest or purchase shares.

·         Remember a legitimate investment/shares company will not cold call you. (They don’t need to.)

Always seek impartial advice if you are considering an investment.


In the financial year 2018-2019 there were 1153 reports were made to Action Fraud with total losses purporting to be £3,615,778 (an average of £3,136 per report) by residents of Merton Borough. 

The top 5 by volume (number of reports) type of fraud is as follows; 

·       Advance Fee 213 Reports, £158,961 lost

·       Online Shopping Fraud 201 reports, £585,896 lost

·       Banking Fraud, 70 reports, £334,589 lost

·       Computer Service Fraud, 52 reports, £81,346 lost

·       None of the Above (Misc.), 247 reports, £1,001,584 lost 

Online Shopping

Victims are convinced to pay money for items that don’t exist or are counterfeit when shopping online. E.g. fake adverts on eBay.

Never pay via direct bank transfers, always use the websites recommended payment method. Please see our animation for more details; 

Advance Fee

Victims are encouraged to pay an advance fee with promise of a larger amount back in return. E.g. a scam email from the “Tax Office” stating that the victim is owed a refundfor overpayment of tax but requesting an admin fee first.

Never give your bank details or personal information following an unsolicited email. Confirm with the company via a pre-established contact method. (i.e. the phone number on the company’s website) 

Investment / Share sales Fraud

Victims are pressured in to making “investments” or buying shares that don’t actually exist or have no chance of the financial return suggested.

Genuine investment/shares companies do NOT cold call people. Contact Financial Conduct Authority for advice. or 0800 111 6768 

Computer Software Service Fraud

Where fraudsters phone the victims claiming that they are internet providers, (e.g. TalkTalk, BT, EE) Microsoft or similar, and state there is an issue with their computer/internet/router and either demand money to prevent their internet being shut off, or offer to help the victim “fix” the problem by getting the him/her to install “team viewer” (or similar) a program which gives the fraudster remote access to the victim’s computer. Once the fraudster has access to the victim’s computer, they will see what they can find or steal to defraud the victim or demand payment for their services. This is a scam so remember:

·       Your service provider will never contact you out of the blue because of unusual activity on your computer.

·       Never give someone remote access to your computer.

·       Your provider will not threaten to cut off your internet.

Please watch our video for more information:

 Payment Fraud

Payment or Mandate Fraud is when fraudsters get a victim to change a direct debit, standing order or bank transfer mandate, by purporting to be an organisation they make regular payments to, for example a subscription, membership or a business supplier. Normally this is done via email where one of the email accounts is hacked and emails containing “new” bank account details are sent. Always verify changes to financial arrangements with the organisation (or person) directly, using established contact details, i.e. call them using a number from their website or a phone book. Watch our animation for more details: 

The top two frauds in “None of the above” are “Courier Fraud and “Push Payment Fraud” (these don’t officially have their own classification. Victims are called by fraudsters pretending to be police, Tax office or from the victim’s bank and convince them to give their card details over the phone. Or in some cases, transfer money to a “safe account,” buy gift vouchers or to go and withdraw money as part of an “investigation.” The fraudsters arrange for a courier to pick up the victim’s card or cash to take it away for “evidence”.

Your bank, the police, or tax office will never ask you to attend your bank, withdraw, transfer or pay money over the phone or send couriers to collect your card or cash. Nor would they ask you to buy goods or vouchers. This is a scam.

1.     Hang up (Never give details or money following a cold call)

2.     Take 5  (Seek a second opinion, tell someone what has happened)

3.     Verify (if concerned, contact the company via a pre-confirmed method)

All of our videos and electronic leaflets can be found on the following link;

Always report, Scams fraud and cybercrime to Action Fraud, either online at or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.


Wheelie Bins

Keeping thieves at bay?

It was suggested at the last Raynes Park Community Forum that (if they are not at home) householders should consider returning their neighbours’ wheelie bins and recycling boxes, back to where they belong once they have been emptied. Such neighbourly acts can hide the fact that people are not at home, especially in the holiday season.

Fake Driving and Parking Fines

Action Fraud have received an increase in reports and intelligence where elderly victims are being targeted by individuals purporting to be police officers or traffic wardens. The victims are being approached whilst parked in a car park and are told by the suspect that they have parked illegally or broken a speed limit and a photo has been taken of their car for ‘evidence’.

Victims are advised that they will face a substantial penalty fine unless they pay a smaller upfront fee immediately. Victims, who opt for paying the smaller penalty, will be directed to a parking meter and asked to enter their card and PIN. These parking meters have been tampered with by the suspect in order to retain the card. Once the victim inserts their card and are asked for their PIN, the victims are shoulder surfed for their PIN by the suspect. Once victims input their PIN, the card is retained by the machine and victims are told by the suspect to seek help from the company who operates the parking meter or their bank.

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