Warning to St Albans residents over bogus police phone scam
PUBLISHED: 11:15 17 May 2013 | UPDATED: 11:15 17 May 2013
POLICE have warned St Albans residents not to give out their bank card details over the phone following a spate of scam calls involving a bogus police officer.
In the past five months Herts Police has received 28 reports about a suspicious phone call, in some cases resulting in large amounts of money being fraudulently taken from the victim’s bank account.
This includes an elderly woman in Bricket Wood who had £300 removed from her bank in April after handing over her card details and security number.
The offender calls the resident, purporting to be a police officer, investigating a fraud on their bank account. They then ask for account information, including their card numbers, security number and pin number.
If the resident becomes suspicious, the offender suggests they call 999 or 101 to confirm the person is a real police officer.
But when the victim calls the police, the scammer stays on the line, or a woman posing as someone working in the police control room is put on the phone to verify the bogus officer’s identity.
The caller then thinks they have been transferred back to the first offender who obtains all their details.
In some cases the criminals have sent fake couriers straight to the victim’s property to pick up their cards, which are then used fraudulently.
Incidents have seen an increase in the past month and older victims ranging from early 70s to mid-90s are being deliberately targeted.
Detective Sergeant Twitchett, from St Albans Local Crime Unit, said: “Fortunately in most of these cases the resident believed the call was a scam and immediately refused to part with any information and put the phone down. But these criminals are convincing and as we have seen, conned victims, resulting in large sums of money being taken.
“Our advice is very simple – if you receive a similar call, do not part with any details. Be aware of callers remaining on the phone and where possible use an alternative phone to report it to police, such as a mobile phone or a neighbour’s landline.”
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