Cleveland Police are warning the public about a phone scam which is duping social media users into taking out phone contracts in return for cash.
The force has received several reports from members of the public who have reported being contacted by ‘an old friend’ via Facebook before that person asks if they would be interested in making money quickly .
Victims are usually offered around £1,000 in the exchange put to them as an as an “employment opportunity”.
If the victim is interested then the suspect will advise them that all they need to do is take out contract phones (amount varies from 4 to 10 contracts) in their name. The scammer then claims that they will then meet up with the victim once the contracts have been taken out and takes them away to delete any information from the phone of any data linking to the victim.
The victim is offered money in return for taking the contracts out, which is promised to be transferred into their bank account.
The victim doesn’t receive the money and doesn’t get the phones returned to them, leaving them to pay the contracts on the several phones, some of which have contracts up to two years.
Despite the suspect having committed fraud, the victim themselves have also defrauded the phone companies by signing up to contracts they have no intention of fulfilling.
It is important to be extremely vigilant and to report any suspicious messages of this nature to Cleveland Police on 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.