Gloucestershire Constabulary has issued a warning and urged people to be vigilant after fraudsters have been calling residents and pretending to be police.
The Cheltenham dialling code, 01242, has recently been targeted with several reports made to police. There have also been reports in Cinderford and Gloucester.
On each occasion the fraudster has claimed to be a police officer from the “serious fraud squad” and said they were either investigating corrupt staff at the victim’s bank or fraudulent card activity.
They will often ask the victim to hang up and dial 999 to confirm they are speaking to a legitimate police officer. However, this is part of the scam as the phone line is kept open and the victim ends up talking to another fraudster who is also involved in the con.
In this type of scam victims are asked to withdraw cash, which would then be collected by a fake police courier on the victim’s doorstep, or asked to send it to an address via post.
Others are instructed to transfer funds into a fake police bank account.
The fraudsters are manipulative, and victims are often told to not tell their friends or family about them “helping” with the investigation.
This type of scam is known as courier fraud, and the average age of a victim of this crime in Gloucestershire is 79.
Police have urged people to warn their elderly or vulnerable relatives, friends and neighbours about this type of fraud.
- If you believe you are being targeted by a scammer hang up the phone and use a different phone line to call Action Fraud or the police, as scammers have a way to stay on the line and will pretend to be the police when you call back.
- If you don’t have access to a different phone line, wait for a period of time, at least 10 minutes, and try calling a family member or friend first to make sure the scammer is no longer on the line.
- Neither police nor bank officials will ever ask you to withdraw money from your account, purchase anything or hand over your personal details or passwords.
l Just because someone knows basic details about you like your name, address or date of birth, it doesn’t mean they are genuine bank or police employees.
l always question suspicious phone calls and report them to Action Fraud or the police.
For further advice on keeping you and your loved ones safe from fraud, visit the Constabulary’s website: Advice about fraud | Gloucestershire Constabulary.