A scam phone call has been mocked-up by police in an effort to show potential victims how convincing the con artists can be.
Herts Police has posted the example recording – which is based on some of the real calls taken by people in the county – on its Youtube channel in order to continue raising awareness about the ongoing scam.
Last month almost 70 incidents were reported in Herts, with two of the victims losing large sums of money to the fraudsters.
So far in January, there has been an average of one attempted phone scam each day, though thankfully no-one has fallen victim to the scams this month.
In the cruel hoaxes, the caller claims to be a police officer investigating fraudulent activity and ask their victim for their pin and account numbers, before asking them to send their bank cards to them using a ‘courier’.
In similar scams, the fraudsters ask their victims to withdraw money and send it to them under the pretence it is needed as part of an investigation into counterfeit bank notes.
Det Insp Ben Wright said: “Over the next few weeks, we are releasing two mock-up recordings of phone scams in an effort to show the public what methods the fraudsters will use to convince a person to part with their bank cards and money.
“The recordings are based on actual calls and reveal some of the tactics deployed by the callers, such as offering a reference number as part of their assurance that the call is genuine. They also demonstrate how anyone could be on the other side of the telephone line as it is often not possible to verify their identity.
“Although the recordings only last around four minutes, in reality these fraudsters can keep their victims on the line for a very prolonged amount of time, all the while plying them with fake reassurance. We hope this insight into how the offenders work will raise awareness about the scams, which continue to operate around the county.”
Officers are assuring those in Herts that police would never ask for bank account details or pin numbers over the phone, and urge people to avoid disclosing these to anyone, no matter who they claim to be.
Police would also never ask you to withdraw money and send it to them or send any bank cards to them via a courier, taxi or by any other means.
Det Insp Wright added: “Positively most people do recognise the calls as a scam but the impact on even just one person is so devastating that it is important we keep this crime on people’s radars and ensure they know what to do should they get a call.”
If you are suspicious of the nature of a call, hang up and either wait five minutes or use a mobile or neighbour’s phone to redial police on the non-emergency number 101, to ensure you are not reconnected to the offender.
You can listen to the mock recording above or by visiting the Herts Police Youtube page at www.youtube.com/HertsPolice