Residents of Cambridgeshire urged to be on their guard against fraudsters posing as police officers in phone scam

17:47 24 February 2014

A blunder by Beds Police led to confidential information being sent to 30 journalists

A blunder by Beds Police led to confidential information being sent to 30 journalists

Archant

Residents are being warned to be on their guard against fraudsters posing as police for a phone scam.

Reports of the scam have been coming in from across Cambridgeshire for the last three months, and last week an 88-year-old woman in the county was conned out of £5,000.

Detective Constable Andy Watters, from Cambridgeshire Police, said: “This scam is an issue that is hitting Cambridgeshire and a number of other counties across the country. The fraudsters are very persuasive and convincing so the victims don’t realise it is a scam until it is too late.

“We are working closely with other police forces, banks, post offices and other partner agencies to raise awareness of the scam and remind people to be suspicious if they receive a phone call similar to this.

“Banks will never ask for your PIN number over the phone and you should never give it out. If you’re in doubt about anyone you are speaking to on the phone, hang up and ensure the line has been terminated before ringing back on an official number. You should never give any bank cards or cash to anyone at your door, even if they say they are from your bank or the police.”

The phoney police officers are making claims such as telling people their bank is under investigation for putting fraudulent bank notes into their account. Another story that has been used involves a criminal who has been arrested with a substantial sum of money on them and a list of names and addresses.

They then advise the victim to call their bank using a number on the back of their bank card, or the police on 101. The victim hangs up but the caller does not and the call is not terminated.

As a result and without realising it, the victim starts talking to the fraudster aga­in, thinking they have called their bank or the police.

Following a conversation, the offender either claims he will need to examine the victim’s bank card and will need their PIN number as it might be compromised or that they should withdraw several thousands of pounds so that the ‘police’ can forensically check the bank notes as part of their investigation.

The caller says he will send a courier or taxi to their home to collect the card or money. A smartly dressed man or innocently involved courier or taxi driver will arrive at the victim’s home. The cash or the bank card and PIN number is then taken and used to withdraw cash.

To report an incident in action always call 999, if it is after the event call Action Fraud on 0300 1232040.

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