Warning as more residents targeted by scam police calls

Police have reported a fresh spike in scam phone calls this week

Residents in Royston and Hitchin have been targeted by the scam - Credit: Archant

Police are urging people to remain alert as fraudsters posing as police officers scam victims across Herts out of more than £70,000 collectively.

A total of 27 residents have been targeted since the start of December, with the most recent victims hailing from Hitchin and Royston, as well as Rickmansworth, Hertford and Borehamwood.

The victims were asked for their bank details before being asked to hand over their bank cards or money to a courier.

Fraudsters have called from either a mobile or a landline number, with someone posing as a police officer and informing the resident there has been fraudulent activity on their bank account. Victims were then instructed to put their bank cards and/or money into an envelope and give them to a courier or taxi, which is sent to the house by the offenders.

Detective Inspector Rob Burns, from the Serious Fraud and Cyber Unit, said: “We have seen more people being targeted by this type of scam over the past month, and unfortunately some victims have lost a lot of money.

“Police officers or bank staff would never ask for people’s bank details, like a PIN, or for cash to be handed over. You should never give your bank details to anyone.

"Usually the intended victim realises the call is not genuine and refuses to part with their details or cash. However, these fraudsters can be very persuasive and insistent, which has resulted in some people falling victim to this scam and subsequently losing thousands of pounds from their accounts.”

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If you receive a call you’re not expecting, you should be suspicious. The vital things to remember are that your bank and the police would never:

  • ask for your bank account details or PIN number over the phone
  • ask you to withdraw money and send it to them via a courier, taxi or by any other means.
  • ask you to send your bank cards, or any other personal property, to them via courier, taxi or by any other means.

If you are not happy with a phone call and are suspicious of the conversation you have with the caller, end the call and dial 101 or report online at herts.police.uk/Report/Report

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

If you have concerns about your bank account, visit your local branch.

For more information on scams visit the Scam police and bank callers page on Herts police's website.