Police issue advice on avoiding phone scams after thieves target people across county, including Letchworth

Several people have been targeted in phone scams in Hertfordshire.

Several people have been targeted in phone scams in Hertfordshire. - Credit: Daniel WIlson

People are being advised to be wary about phone scams in the run up to Christmas after thieves claiming to be police offices have targeted addresses all over the county.

In total there have been 11 attempted scams across Hertfordshire, including one in Letchworth.

A number of tactics have been used, such as saying that cards have been cloned, money had been taken from their account, or simply asking to discuss details about a person’s bank cards.

On one occasion a person claiming to be a police officer called one potential victim and claimed he was in custody with a man who had a signed document stating he could withdraw £100 from the person’s account.

Luckily on each of these occasions the people have not given any details, hung up and alerted police to the scam.

Chief Insp Gerry McDonald said: “These phone scams can affect people at any time of the year but particularly in the run up to Christmas it can be even worse if money is taken as it may well be money which has been saved for presents.

“These crimes mainly effect the elderly and vulnerable and I would like to reassure you that we are doing all we can to disrupt these groups and prevent offences, and I am pleased to see that people are alert to these scams and taking the right action. However, those involved can be ruthless and I would like to remind everyone that they can help us to prevent offences occurring.”

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

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

For further information about phone scams and how to avoid becoming a victim visit www.herts.police.uk/PhoneScams.