Scams have cost Cumbrians more than £10 million in the last year as cases continue to rise.

Latest statistics from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau show that there were 2,354 reports of fraud, amounting to losses totalling £10.3m, since September 2022.

The number of crimes are rising month-on-month, with people in the age category of 50-59 reporting the most concerns.

To stem the wave of fraudulent crimes, Cumbria Police is collaborating with The Cumberland Building Society to run a series of crime prevention clinics.

“What people should realise is fraudsters are often organised criminals who know how to manipulate people and get what they want,” said Detective Constable Claire Keyes, who warns the latest stats are just the tip of the iceberg as fraud is massively under-reported.

“Many of us have probably had a phone call, text message or email where someone is offering a service that is fake,” said Claire. “Or we’ve received an email where the sender has asked us to click on a link, with the motive being to carry out fraud or cybercrime.

“There are many people who are not comfortable online – and this will give them the opportunity to hear more about how they can protect themselves.”

The clinics are pencilled in during National Fraud Awareness Week and are set in various Cumberland branches from 10am-2pm.

On November 13, it takes place in Barrow, followed by Penrith on November 14, Whitehaven on November 15, Kendal on November 16, and finally, Carlisle, Fisher St on November 17.

“It is very important people know that being defrauded is not their fault; they should not feel ashamed – they are victims of crime just like every other victim of crime,” said DC Keyes.

Amanda Nattrass, financial crime team leader with The Cumberland, revealed the company’s proactive approach towards minimising risks of fraud.

She said: “We would never ask you to disclose card details, One Time Passcodes or Internet Banking details. Anyone who asks for these is not genuine and these should never be disclosed to anyone.

“Also be wary of who you are speaking to even if it appears to be from a trusted source – phone number, text message or email. If you have any doubt please hang up and contact us on a separate phone line or wait 15 minutes to ensure the line is clear.

“All our staff have been trained in how to deal with fraud and will be able to help with any concerns people may have in branch or over the phone with your customer care or financial crime teams.”

The police are also calling on the public to share information about these upcoming sessions to the elderly or vulnerable individuals in the community.

“We’d encourage them to suggest this to them, or accompany them to whichever event is most convenient,” said DC Keyes.

“But anyone can become a victim of fraud, so these sessions – and the chance to ask questions – could be useful to anyone."