£8,000 stolen after residents hit by scam calls before Christmas

man picking up BT telephone

£8,000 was stolen from residents in Hitchin, Hertford and Royston after a phone scam. - Credit: Archant

Six Hertfordshire residents were targeted by scam callers last week, who posed as police officers pretending to fight fraud.

People from Hitchin, Royston, Hertford and Watford have all reported receiving calls from people saying they are police officers and asking for bank details. 

All of the victims were asked to hand their bank cards or money to couriers.

The scam involves a telephone call via mobile or a landline number, with someone posing as a police officer and informing the resident there has been fraudulent use on their bank account.

The victims were then 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 to collect. If bank cards are collected they can be used later by the offenders to withdraw large sums of money.

The offenders also request people’s help in investigating the fraud and ask people to disclose their bank details, including their account and PIN numbers.

There have been six incidents reported to police since the start of December 2020, with victims losing more than £8,000.

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Detective Inspector Rob Burns, from the Serious Fraud and Cyber Unit, said: “Police officers or bank staff would never ask for people’s bank details, like a PIN.

"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 personal and bank details.

"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.”

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, so do not disclose these to anyone, no matter who they claim to be.
  • NEVER ask you to withdraw money and send it to them via a courier, taxi or by any other means.
  • NEVER ask you to send your bank cards, or any other personal property, to them via courier, taxi or by any other means.