Police officer cold caller scam
Police are urging residents to be vigilant to cold callers claiming to be police officers following two incidents in the east of the county.
On Monday 12 November an elderly female victim in Lowestoft received a call on from someone claiming to be a Colchester based police officer informing her that someone has used her account and asked her to provide her bank details to conduct investigations. He also claimed they had a man had been detained for placing a large amount of money into a fraudulent account and said she needed to withdraw a large sum of money from her local bank. The male also arranged for someone to collect a quantity of cash from her property while she was still on the phone. She was also told not to inform her family and friend of the incident for at least 48 hours.
A further incident was reported on 17 November in Southwold with a suspect pretending to be a police officer from Essex phoning an elderly female victim stating she has been scammed and that she needs to withdraw a large amount of money and that a large sum of money needed to be transferred from her savings into her current account.
PC Amy Yeldham from Lowestoft police urged for residents to be vigilant to this scam. She said: "We’re urging members of the public, particularly the elderly who are primarily being targeted, to be vigilant to cold calls made on the telephone.
"Genuine police officers or staff would never approach residents and ask for cash withdrawals to be made or for people to purchase items on their behalf.
"I would ask people with vulnerable relatives, friends or neighbours to make sure they are aware of this type of scam.”
Officers have this advice:
- Never give out personal information about your bank account to anybody over the phone.
- If someone calls claiming to be a police officer, ask for their identification number and police force. Hang up and call 101 using a different phone. If you can’t use a different phone, wait at least five minutes before calling back. A genuine police officer will not mind waiting while you check.
- Police and banks will never ask you to give out personal details such as account numbers or PIN numbers.
- If you have given out information which could compromise your bank account security in any way, call your bank to cancel your cards as soon as possible.
- Never hand over money to someone at the door to be sent off elsewhere.
Anyone with concerns about such calls should contact Suffolk Constabulary on the non-emergency number 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress. Alternatively, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.