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Detectives are investigating after a man was conned out of thousands of pounds by people pretending to be police officers.
At 10am yesterday (Tuesday 8 December), a 38-year-old man from Stoke-on-Trent answered a call, which displayed a mobile number, and spoke to a man who said they were a police officer from the pensions department. He was informed that his account had been involved in a fraud. He said another officer would call back to arrange the transfer of money to a ‘police account for safekeeping’.
A woman claiming to be PC Michelle Green called at 10.35am using a spoofed phone number - where a criminal uses technology to make it look like they are calling from an existing phone number. On this occasion, the number displayed on the victims phone was the force’s back-up number 0300 123 4455. The woman asked him to transfer the money and that he could collect a cheque for the amount by attending a police station the next day.
Detective Inspector Steve Ward, from the force’s Fraud and Financial Investigations team, said: “Neither police nor bank officials will ever ask you to transfer or withdraw money from your account, purchase anything or hand over your personal details or passwords. Staffordshire Police do not use this number to contact anybody as it is for calls into Staffordshire police only.”
“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 on 101, 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 and try calling a family member or friend first to make sure the scammer is no longer on the line.
“Always question suspicious phone calls and report them to Action Fraud or the police.”
Anyone with any information should message Staffordshire Police on Facebook or Twitter quoting incident number 259 of 8 December, call 101 or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
If you think you or someone you know has been defrauded, you can report it to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.