Fraudsters are telephoning Northamptonshire residents pretending to be police officers
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Detectives from Northamptonshire Police’s Fraud Team are warning local residents of a scam in which people are pretending to be police officers in order to steal money and personal details.
In April 2020, the Force received 12 reports of fraudsters posing as police officers in an attempt to commit courier fraud. Those targeted were aged between 70 and 89, and their total financial losses were £7,100.
Courier fraud involves fraudsters telephoning a potential victim, claiming to be from their bank, the police or another law enforcement authority, and tricking them into revealing their PIN number, bank card and personal details.
They often do this by claiming that they need help with an ongoing fraud investigation, or that they have arrested someone who has cloned the victim’s bank cards.
These fraudsters commonly target the elderly and will sometimes even turn up in person to collect cash from their victims.
Detective Sergeant Tim Craven, said: “Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment. Stop and think. It could protect you and your money.
“We are encouraging everyone to help us spread the word about this kind of scam to prevent any more people in our county being taken in by it.
“Please tell your friends and relatives, especially the elderly ones, that if they receive a telephone call of this kind, they should never give out any information or agree to assist the caller, however plausible they may seem.
“A police officer will never ever ask for money under any circumstances and they will also not mind you wanting to ring 101 to verify their details. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.”
If you are approached unexpectedly remember to:
- Stop: Taking a moment to think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
- Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
- Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen victim to a scam and report it to Action Fraud.
- The police, or your bank, will never ask you to withdraw money or transfer it to a different account. They will also never ask you to reveal your full banking password or PIN.
- Confirm requests are genuine by using a known number to contact organisations directly. The police non-emergency number is 101. For your bank, use the number printed on your bank statement or bank card. Use a different phone to make this call whenever possible as fraudsters can keep phone lines open.