Police warning given over phone scam
12:00 01 March 2014
Fraudsters posing as police officers in order to defraud victims out of thousands of pounds have targeted residents across the county – including 19 in just one day.
Over the last three months, numerous people have reported to police that they have lost money in the telephone scam, including one person who had £5,000 taken.
The con can take a number of forms – one involved a telephone call from someone claiming to be a police office who says that a criminal has been arrested in possession of a substantial sum of money and a list of names and addresses, including the victim’s.
Another caller claims that the bank is under investigation for putting fraudulent bank notes into the victim’s bank account.
The fraudster then tells the victim to call their bank using a number on the back of their card, or to call police on 101. The victim hangs up, but the caller does not – and instead of talking with the bank or the police, they are still speaking to the fraudsters.
The caller then says they need to examine the victim’s bank card – and that they will need the PIN – or asks for several thousand pounds to be withdrawn from the bank so that the ‘police’ can carry out forensic checks on the notes.
A smartly dressed man – or sometimes an innocent courier or taxi driver – will be sent to make the pick-up, with cards being used to withdraw money.
A police spokesman said: “This scam is an issue that is hitting Cambridgeshire and a number of other counties. The fraudsters are very organised, persuasive and convincing, so the victims don’t realise it’s a scam until it’s too late. We are working closely with other police forces, banks, post offices and other partner agencies to raise awareness of the scam and remind people to be suspicious if they receive a phone call similar to this.”