Seven people have been arrested following a series of warrants carried out across north London in the early hours of this morning.
The warrants targeted those believed to be involved in phone scams in areas including Bedfordshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Suffolk, Sussex and Thames Valley.
The raids were led by the specialist Eastern Region Special Operations Unit’s (ERSOU) Hertford-based phone scam task force.
ERSOU officers, supported by staff from Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, executed warrants at six addresses.
The team of around 80 officers was also supported by the Metropolitan Police Service.
An 18-year-old man, a 20-year-old woman, a 21-year-old man, a 21-year-old woman, a 22-year-old men and a 23-year-old man, all from North London, have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud. Those arrested remain in police custody in Essex.
A further man, aged 22, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud at another location in London and is currently in police custody in London.
Detective Inspector Danny Lawrence, who leads the ERSOU phone scam taskforce, said: “These warrants further show how we are continuing to make the region a hostile place for anyone suspected of being involved in phone scams, which often target elderly and vulnerable people.
“Whilst we are continuing to make arrests, I would remind people to remain aware that phone scams are still operating across the region.
“As it does tend to be the elderly and vulnerable who are targeted by the offenders, please share the following advice with neighbours and relatives.
“If you are suspicious about a telephone conversation you should end the call and contact police via the non-emergency number 101.
“Remember to use a mobile phone or a friend’s phone or wait at least five minutes before calling to ensure you aren’t reconnected to the offender.
“Please also remember that your bank and the police would:
– NEVER ask for your bank account details or PIN number over the phone.
– NEVER ask you to withdraw money and send it to them.
– NEVER ask you to send them your bank cards or any other personal property.”
ERSOU was established in 2010 to deliver an increased response to tackling the threat of organised crime across the six police forces in the Eastern Region of the United Kingdom, and to provide specialist covert policing capability to law enforcement.
The unit is made up of resources from across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.
Its officers aim to identify, disrupt and dismantle organised crime groups impacting on the Eastern Region. The unit creates additional specialist capability across the region through effective partnership and collaboration to make the region a place hostile to organised crime.