Hertfordshire Constabulary are warning residents to stay vigilant following an increase in reports of scam phone calls in the area.
Victims are being called via a landline, by someone claiming to be a police officer asking them for their assistance with an investigation. The fraudsters then ask the victims to withdraw large sums of money, and hand it over to a courier who would attend their home address.
Inspector Victoria Richards said: “Luckily, many people recognise that these calls are fraudulent and refuse to hand over any money.
“However, there are some occasions where people fall prey to the highly persuasive nature of these scammers, and unfortunately lose thousands of pounds.
“I want to take this opportunity to stress that police would never ask you to withdraw money as part of an investigation and hand it to a courier.
“Please help us to raise awareness by sharing this with your friends and family, especially if they are vulnerable or elderly. If you do receive one of these fraudulent telephone calls, please make sure you report it to us as soon as possible.”
You can report information online at herts.police.uk/report, speak to an operator in their Force Communications Room via online web chat at herts.police.uk/contact or call their non-emergency number 101. If a crime is in progress or someone’s life is in danger, call 999 immediately.
Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report information online at crimestoppers-uk.org.
Hertfordshire Constabulary 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