Would-be scam victims praised for vigilance

Phone scam in Herts
Phone scam in Herts

Potential victims to Hertfordshire’s ongoing phone scam have been praised for saying no to con-artists as the cruel practice continues.

Police have thanked the large number of elderly and vulnderable people from the county who have refused to be taken in by the scam – which involves crooks claiming to be from the police or a bank – in the last week.

Between last Monday and Saturday, 32 people around the county were contacted by people claiming to be investigating fraudulent activity in their accounts.

The most recent attacks mainly took place in nearby Radlett, though in past bouts people in Dacorum have been targeted.

Last week’s victims also hailed from Watford, St Albans, Hatfield, Potters Bar, Rickmansworth, Welwyn Garden City, North Herts and Broxbourne.

Det Insp Jason Keane, leading the county’s response to the phone scams, said: “I would like to praise the residents who were contacted by the fraudsters as they wouldn’t let themselves be taken in by the lies of the caller and they didn’t part with any personal information.

“Anyone of any age could be contacted by these fraudsters but they do tend to target the elderly. This week people aged from their 40s right up to 100 were contacted. Rightly, they were suspicious of the unexpected telephone call and ended it before contacting the police.

“These fraudsters will use a number of tactics to try and convince people that they are genuinely investigating fraudulent activity and that they need people’s bank cards and money as part of an investigation, including offering reference numbers and contact names.

“Whatever anyone says on the phone and no matter who they claim to be, I want to make it absolutely clear that the police and banks would never ask you to send them bank cards, money or any other property. This is simply something that would not happen in any circumstances.”

If you believe someone has attempted to scam you, report the incident to police using the non-emergency number 101.

Police advise waiting at least five minutes before attempting to make the call or use a mobile or neighbour’s phone to ensure the offender is not still connected.