Scam police calls in Hertfordshire prompt warning after two people conned out of thousands of pounds

Hertfordshire Police have issued a warning about the threat of bogus police phone calls after two people were scammed.

Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 3:03 pm

Hertfordshire Police are warning residents of the dangers of phone calls from people posing as police officers after locals were scammed out of thousands of pounds.

Fraudsters posing as officers were said to have asked two residents for their bank cards or to send money to a courier.

An elderly person was scammed out of almost £6,000 And further two people were contacted by fraudsters posing as police.

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One victim was asked to purchase a watch from a jeweller and transferred £157k to the retailer’s bank account.

Investigating officers contacted the retailer, who was unaware of the scam and informed the detectives that another purchase for £20k had been made, which was also fraudulent.

These transactions were stopped and the money returned to the victims.

Detective Inspector Pete Hankins, from the Serious Fraud and Cyber Unit, explained that police officers or bank officials will never ask people for sensitive information, like a PIN or ask them to purchase high value items to assist with enquiries.

He said: “This crime type has evolved over time. Criminals involved in courier fraud may still ask victims to withdraw cash or hand over their bank card and PIN however we are increasingly dealing with reports where victims have been asked to purchase high value items such as gold bars and watches which are then collected by a courier.”

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DI Hankins added: “Usually the intended victim realises the call is not genuine and refuses to part with their personal and bank details. However, these fraudsters can be very persuasive and insistent, which has resulted in some people falling victim to this scam and subsequently losing thousands of pounds.”

Hertfordshire Police said that if you receive a call you’re not expecting, you should be suspicious.

People are also asked to report any suspicious activity at cash points.

The offenders may also request people’s help in investigating the fraud and ask people to disclose their bank details, including their account and PIN numbers.

People can report a suspicious caller via 101 or report online. In an emergency of if a crime is in progress call 999 immediately.