North Devon police look back on a successful year raising awareness of mail, internet and phone scams.

It’s been just over one year since Operation Jessica was launched by Devon and Cornwall Police to help raise awareness of scammers, and it has been hailed a success by officers.

The operation – which helps to prevent vulnerable people becoming victims of mail, phone and internet scams – is still very much a part of everyday policing in North Devon.

Acting sergeant Sally Ferris said officers were continually trying to reach out to the community to uncover new victims and raise awareness.

She said: “It is really frightening how this type of fraud is increasing.

“The people running these scams do not care; they have no morals.

“Some people can be scammed out of their entire life savings and the money usually goes towards drugs, people trafficking or terrorism.”

Since the launch of Operation Jessica, police have forged closer links with Trading Standards and Royal Mail to help identify new trends in these sorts of scams.

Just last week the Gazette reported how people in North Devon were being contacted by callers purporting to be computer engineers.

“Scams can be anything from claiming you have overpaid on council tax to online dating fraud,” said PC Ferris.

“Any public body or bank will never, ever ask you for your PIN or password.

“The message we want to reiterate is if it’s too good to be true, it usually is.”