AUDIO: Hertfordshire police release mock phone scam recording to warn the public

Police are appealing for information after two vehicles were set alight in Letchworth in the early h

Police are appealing for information after two vehicles were set alight in Letchworth in the early hours of this morning. - Credit: Archant

A mock recording of a phone scam has been posted by police in a bid to warn the public about fraudsters who have targeted more than 30 people in Hertfordshire during January.

Officers at Herts police have reconstructed a common scam where the caller, pretending to be a police officer, asks the victim to withdraw money and send it to them under the pretence that it is needed as part of an investigation into counterfeit bank notes – something the police would never do in any circumstances. The victim is then asked to send the cash to them via a courier.

In other scams, the caller claims to be a police officer investigating fraudulent activity and ask their victim for their PIN and account number, as shown in the first video uploaded, which has been viewed around 7,000 times already since it was shared a week ago.

In two cases last month large amounts of money were handed over, with 70 people targeted in December.

Det Insp Ben Wright said: “We have released two mock-up recordings of phone scams in an effort to show the public what methods the fraudsters will use to convince a person to part with their bank cards and money.

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“The recordings are based on actual calls and reveal some of the tactics deployed by the callers, such as offering a reference number as part of their assurance that the call is genuine. They also demonstrate how anyone could be on the other side of the telephone line as it is often not possible to verify their identity.

“Although the recordings only last around four minutes, in reality these fraudsters can keep their victims on the line for a very prolonged amount of time, all the while plying them with fake reassurance. We hope this insight into how the offenders work will raise awareness about the scams, which continue to operate around the county.

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“Most people do recognise the calls as a scam but the impact on even just one person is so devastating that it is important we keep this crime on people’s radars and ensure they know what to do should they get a call.”

The police and banks will never ask for your bank account details or PIN number over the phone, so do not disclose these to anyone, no matter who they claim to be.

They would never ask you to withdraw money and send it to them via a courier, taxi or by any other means, or do the same with bank cards or any other personal property.

If you are not happy with a phone call and are suspicious of the conversation you have with the caller then please end the call and contact police via the non-emergency number, 101.

Remember, when reporting a suspicious phone call to police, wait at least five minutes before attempting to make the call or use a mobile or neighbour’s phone to ensure you’re not reconnected to the offender.

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