CUMBRIANS are being warned against a scam which promises a direct line to their local ambulance station, at a cost.
Members of staff at the station in Millom raised concerns with their section manager after family members had received calls from someone who said that if a person pays £299, they will be issued with a direct phone number of Millom
Ambulance Station and will receive a quicker response in the event of an emergency. When one the victims advised the person that she was a the mother of a local paramedic, the fraudster refused to give any more information.
Spokesperson for Cumbria Police said: “We have received reports from North West Ambulance Service in relation to this fraud and encourage anyone who has been contacted by people offering this service to report it to the police or to Action Fraud.
"These people are praying on those who live in rural areas and who may be duped into thinking that the emergency services would take longer to reach them. The most recent incident has taken place in Millom, but there may be other people in other areas across Cumbria who have received the same type of call.
“Never provide your bank details to anyone who cold calls you, you cannot verify who the person is on the end of the phone and if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.”
North West Ambulance Service, head of service, Peter Mulcahy, said: ‘It is unfortunate that some people have chosen to try and deliberately mislead local people in this way.
"The Service would like to reassure the public that we do not charge for our emergency service, nor do we prioritise the despatch of ambulances on anything other than the severity of the illness or injury. The only number anyone should ring if they require an emergency ambulance is 999 – and this is free to everyone.
"These calls promising a direct line to our ambulance stations, are fraudulent, and for this reason, the public should not make any payments or offer their bank details to anyone who requests them."
For more information and advice about fraud and how to protect yourself, visit http://www.cumbria.police.uk/advice-and-information/security