Protect Your Money
across Hertfordshire, and nationally, have been receiving phone
calls from people claiming to be from the police or their bank.
The caller says they are investigating fraudulent activity on
people’s accounts. They request people’s help in investigating the
fraud and ask people to disclose their bank details, such as
account and PIN numbers.
Correctly, the majority of people identify this as a scam and
refuse to part with their personal and bank details. However,
unfortunately some have fallen victim to this scam and subsequently
had thousands of pounds stolen from their account.
Whilst arrests and convictions are continuing to be made, offenders
are still targeting vulnerable and older people - the majority of
people targeted are aged over 60. It is therefore vital that these
people in particular are aware of the scam, so please share this
information with your neighbours and relatives.
How does the scam work?
The offender calls the victim, purporting to be a police officer,
and tells them they are investigating a fraud on their bank account
and have someone arrested. They might also claim to be from the
victim’s bank, again stating they are investigating fraudulent
activity on their account.
The offender asks for account information, including card, security
and PIN numbers. Sometimes the offenders will ask victims to ‘key
in’ their PIN number into the phone – the number is then captured
by the offenders.
They may also ask the victim to withdraw a large sum of cash from
their bank or building society. If they make this request they will
explain that the money is required as it needs to be forensically
examined. They also instruct the victim not to tell the bank why
they are withdrawing the money, giving the reason that the bank
might be involved in the fraud.
The victim is then instructed to put the 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 the items. If bank cards
are collected they will be later used by the offenders to withdraw
In some cases the victim might become suspicious and doubt the
validity of what the caller is saying. If this happens, the
offender will suggest they call the police via 999 or 101 or contact their bank in order
that the victim can confirm the caller’s identity.
However, what the victim doesn’t realise is that the caller hasn’t
hung up so the line remains open, even if the victim hangs up, so
the victim is put straight back through to the offender who will
then pretend to be another person. This ‘new’ person will then
validate the original caller’s claims.
What should you do if you get a
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
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 to ensure
you’re not reconnected to the offender.
Alternatively, use a mobile phone or a neighbour’s phone or test
your landline by phoning a friend or relative first, to ensure you
aren’t still unwittingly connected to the offender.
If you have concerns about your bank account, visit your local
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
Remember to follow the above
advice. In addition to this, some phone companies offer call
screening services that can be effective in blocking marketing cold
calls and bogus callers. Contact your phone company and ask about
call screening and caller display services.
How can you help?
1) Please share this
information with your older relatives and friends: this
crime has a devastating effect on people and we need to raise
awareness to prevent further people becoming victims.
2) Report any calls you believe are
suspicious as we may be able to trace where the calls are
originating from. Please remember, to wait at least five minutes
before calling police or use a mobile or neighbour’s phone.
3) Report suspicious activity at cash points.
If you see someone spending a long time at a cashpoint, using a
number of different cards and have a hood up or their faces
covered, contact police immediately. Often offenders will use
cashpoints in the early hours.
You can also watch a
video from YouTube
below, provided by Action Fraud and entitled,
"The Devil's in Your Details":
Hertfordshire Constabulary has
posted two recordings of mock phone scams on its
YouTube channel in order
to raise awareness around the scams and show how convincing they
can be. You can see the videos below: -
|AUROS:LITERAL will be displayed here.|