|Recently a resident in Somerset took a phone call from a man pretending to be a Detective Constable who falsely claimed their debit card was being used by someone else. He said they would hear a bleep and then should dial 999 – in reality the fraudster would hold open the phone line and would not be connected to police but instead would still be talking again with the fraudster or one of their accomplices.
Fortunately, they realised it was a scam and told the fraudster they would hang up and go to a local police station to report it – which we are grateful they did.
However, we are aware of other incidents recently in which people have received similar calls including from fraudsters claiming to work for the ‘Fraud Department’.
Earlier this month another Somerset resident was encouraged to check the legitimacy of an officer by calling 999 – again the phone line was held open, so they remained on the call with the fraudster and did not come through to our control room like they thought.
The victim was encouraged to withdraw thousands of pounds in cash from the bank to supposedly assist with a criminal investigation and was later asked to hand it to a courier who would take the bank notes away for analysis, after giving a pre-agreed password.
The courier attended the residents address in an estate car promising the money back within a few days, but when that date passed it became clear it had been a scam and reported what had happened.
What you should know:
“No police officer will ever ask you to hand over money, sensitive banking information or valuables to help with any criminal investigation.”
That is the message we want people to share with friends and family following several reports recently of fraudsters pretending to be police officers phoning potential victims.