Hitchin, Letchworth and Stevenage households all targeted in phone scams

Police have praised a number of people who have been targeted in phone scams.

Police have praised a number of people who have been targeted in phone scams. - Credit: Daniel WIlson

Police have praised people across Stevenage and North Herts for refusing to give out personal information to fraudsters.

In total 48 people living in Hertfordshire have been targeted in phone scams this month, including one Letchworth household last week and a further three addresses in both Stevenage and Hitchin at the start of December.

In the scam people claiming to be from the police or banks investigating fraudulent activity will call and ask for personal information so they can steal cash – often by asking victims to withdraw money and send it to them via a courier or to post them a bank card.

“I would like to praise the residents who were contacted by the fraudsters as they wouldn’t let themselves be taken in by the lies of the caller and they didn’t part with any personal information,” said Det Insp Jason Keane, who leads the county’s response to phone scams.

“Anyone of any age could be contacted by these fraudsters but they do tend to target the elderly. This week people aged from their 40s right up to 100 were contacted. Rightly, they were suspicious of the unexpected telephone call and ended it before contacting the police.

“These fraudsters will use a number of tactics to try and convince people that they are genuinely investigating fraudulent activity and that they need people’s bank cards and money as part of an investigation, including offering reference numbers and contact names.

“Whatever anyone says on the phone and no matter who they claim to be, I want to make it absolutely clear that the police and banks would never ask you to send them bank cards, money or any other property. This is simply something that would not happen in any circumstances.

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“If you believe someone has attempted to scam you then please report this to us. When doing so, please remember to 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.”

To report an incident call police on non-emergency number 101. For further information visit www.herts.police.uk/PhoneScams.

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