Increase in phone scams prompts police to issue another warning about handing over bank details and cards

Warning after increase in phone scams.
Warning after increase in phone scams.

The number of phone scams being reported in the county are increasing.

During November along, around 70 incidents of crooks trying to trick victims out of cash over the phone were reported - seven people were caught out by the fraudsters and, in total, lost around £25,000.

Some crooks pretend to be police officers investigating bank card fraud and persuade victims to reveal their secret pin numbers and send their bank cards.

Others say they’re calling from the a bank security team.

The callers often offer reference numbers, names and other fake information to persuade people that they are genuine.

They even offer to hang up to allow their intended victims to call the police to confirm who they claim to be, but what the victims don’t know is that the line remains connected to the original caller and the fraudster then pretends to be another person.

Once the person has been convinced by the caller, a courier or taxi is sent to their address and the cards and/or money are collected and used by the fraudsters.

Det Insp Jason Keane said: “The vast majority of people quite rightly see through the lies of these fraudsters and don’t give away any of their personal details, bank cards or money, however people should be under no illusion about just how convincing these callers are – people of all ages and professions have fallen for the scam.

“They prey on the trusting nature of people and often deliberately target the elderly and vulnerable. We are working with our partners across the county to help raise awareness of these scams and what measures can be taken to avoid becoming a victim of them but we still need the public’s assistance. I urge every person who reads this message to share the following advice with all their relatives, friends and neighbours:

“I can categorically say the police and banks will NEVER ask you to send them your banks cards or money or any other personal possession. We would also NEVER ask for your PIN or request you transfer money from one account to another. This is simply something we would never do.

“If you receive a call you’re not expecting, you should be suspicious. I stress again, 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 other means.

“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 or use a mobile or neighbour’s phone to ensure you’re not reconnected to the offender.”

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