On Tuesday 4th November 2014, 8 men and 1 woman have been arrested as part of an investigation into complex and organised fraud.
Officers from the North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU) executed magistrates’ search warrants at a number of addresses in the South Shields and Gateshead areas in a joint operation with the North East Immigration Crime Team. The operation was part of co-ordinated enforcement activity which also encompassed addresses in the Bolton and Burton on Trent areas of the UK.
Detective Inspector Traci McNally, who heads up NERSOU's Fraud team said ‘ This activity came about as a consequence of a number of victims being defrauded of thousands of pounds during Vishing scams. A Vishing scam is a where a fraudster contacts a person by telephone, convincing them that their bank account has been compromised, and then persuades them to transfer their funds into what they believe is a new holding account. Sadly it is usually the case that the new bank accounts are under the control of the fraudsters, meaning that the funds are then withdrawn and the poor victim is left with nothing. I would urge members of the public to be vigilant and to always take steps to check directly with their own banks before agreeing to transfer money.’
The Regional Fraud Team is a newly established team within the North East Regional Special Operations Unit which compromises of a collaboration between the Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland police forces. Detective Inspector McNally said that the unit are a team of specialist investigators who are tackling serious and organised crime within the north east region