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Remain vigilant around scam phone calls

16 Sep 2019
  • Police are warning residents to remain vigilant following reports of scam phone calls in the Welwyn Hatfield area this past week.

  • Since Monday (9 September) four elderly victims have been targeted by fraudsters, with one victim losing more than £6,000.

  • Hertfordshire Constabulary offers a range of crime prevention advice to help prevent you from becoming a victim.

Police are warning residents to remain vigilant following reports of scam phone calls in the Welwyn Hatfield area this past week.

Since Monday (9 September) four elderly victims have been targeted by fraudsters, with one victim losing more than £6,000.

On each occasion the victims were called via a landline, by someone claiming to be a police officer from London who needed their assistance with an investigation. The fraudsters asked the victims to withdraw large sums of money from local banks and then hand it to a courier who would attend their home address.

PC Kelly Woodward said: “Thankfully, many people recognise these calls for what they are and refuse to part with any money however, there are occasions when people fall prey to the highly persuasive nature of these fraudsters and often lose thousands of pounds.

“I want to stress that police would NEVER ask you to withdraw money as part of an investigation and hand it to a courier.

“We’re working with banks and the local community to help raise awareness and prevent further incidents and you can help us by sharing this advice with relatives, friends and neighbours, especially those who are elderly. If you have received a similar call, please report this to police.”

You can report information online, speak to an operator in our Force Communications Room via our online web chat or call the non-emergency number 101.

Alternatively, you can stay 100% anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form.

Hertfordshire Constabulary offers the following crime prevention advice:

  • Be sceptical of callers, even those who claim to be officials.
  • Don’t be afraid to put the phone down with a brief ‘No, thank you’.
  • NEVER give personal information, such as your date of birth or bank details, to unexpected callers.
  • Remember that the police or your bank would NEVER unexpectedly call you and ask you to withdraw cash or move your money to another account, as a result of fraud or any other reason.
  • If callers suggest you call your local police or bank to check who they are, use another phone or ensure the line has been fully disconnected by phoning a friend or relative first, or by waiting at least five minutes, otherwise you may think you’ve phoned a number, but you’re simply talking to the fraudsters again. This is a common fraudsters’ tactic.
  • If a caller asks you to type your bank PIN number into your telephone handset - do not do this, as fraudsters can use technology to identify the numbers.
  • You can opt out of many cold calls by registering for free with the Telephone Preference Service on 0845 070 0707.

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