Hertfordshire Police warn residents after a series of police phone scams

Police offer crime prevention advice to residents

Thursday, 27th August 2020, 8:55 am
Updated Thursday, 27th August 2020, 8:56 am

Officers are warning residents to stay vigilant following reports of scam phone calls to homes in Hertfordshire.

Five victims in the St Albans area have received calls this months from fraudsters posing as police officers claiming that they are investigating fraud offences involving the victim’s bank account.

The bogus police officer asks the victims to withdraw cash for collection by a courier.

Scam stock image

Fraudsters may ask the victims to call back on 999, 101 or 161 to verify that they are genuinely a police officer, however this is part of the scam. They keep the line open so that the victim continues to speak to the fraudster believing they are genuine officials.

Detective Inspector Rob Burns, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Serious Fraud and Cyber Unit, said: “These fraudsters use a variety of different scams, often changing their stories, sometimes they are for money other times it maybe be vouchers or even the victim’s bank card.

"They tend to target elderly people and can be extremely convincing and intimidating.

“It’s important to remember that police officers and bank officials will NEVER ask you to withdraw money, purchase goods or hand over private banking details.

“Please help us to raise awareness by talking about this with your friends and family, especially if they are vulnerable or elderly.”

If you believe that you are a victim of a scam please call Hertfordshire Police's non- emergency number 101, using a different phone to that used to communicate with the fraudsters.

If a fraud is in progress or someone’s life is in danger, call 999 immediately.

Hertfordshire Police offers the following crime prevention advice:

- Be sceptical of callers, even those who claim to be officials.

- Don’t be afraid to put the phone down with a brief ‘No, thank you’.

- NEVER give personal information, such as your date of birth or bank details, to unexpected callers.

- Remember that the police or your bank would NEVER unexpectedly call you and ask you to withdraw cash or move your money to another account, as a result of fraud or any other reason.

- If callers suggest you call your local police or bank to check who they are, use another phone or ensure the line has been fully disconnected by phoning a friend or relative first, or by waiting at least five minutes, otherwise you may think you’ve phoned a number, but you’re simply talking to the fraudsters again. This is a common fraudsters’ tactic.

- If a caller asks you to type your bank PIN number into your telephone handset - do not do this, as fraudsters can use technology to identify the numbers.

- You can opt out of many cold calls by registering for free with the Telephone Preference Service on 0845 070 0707.

Visit www.actionfraud.police.uk or www.herts.police.uk/protectyourmoney for more advice on avoiding scams.

To see a video demonstrating how fraudsters operate, click here.

You can report information to police onlineor call 101. Alternatively, you can stay anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.