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Detectives are issuing advice following a recent increase in incidents where fraudsters are claiming to be from various police services around the country.
Staffordshire Police has received a number of reports of incidents targeting the elderly and vulnerable within our county over the past few weeks.
We are now calling on everyone to pass this information and advice to their friends and family.
In this latest scam, fraudsters target elderly and vulnerable people on their home landline telephone numbers and pretend to be police officers. They come across as being very polite and often give their name, collar number and a reference number which can seem plausible to many.
These fraudsters will usually tell the victims that somebody has been arrested and is in custody after being found having stolen money or found to be in possession of a cloned card belonging to the victim. They’ll advise the victim to contact their bank to confirm. The line is then kept open as the victims speak to, who they believe, is their bank.
The “bank” will then confirm the information given is true with the victims then asked to attend their banks and withdraw money. This can usually be up to £5000.
The serial numbers from a portion of this money is then read over the phone to the scammers - who will state that these numbers match those in possession of the “offender” and that this money needs to be collected by a courier.
A short time later, a courier will attend the victim’s address and collect the money from the victim.
The offenders will sometimes telephone the victim several times a day with some calls lasting several hours.
The fraudsters will also ensure to prep the victims with what to say should the banks ever ask why they are withdrawing large amounts of cash.
Detective Constable Sally Dean, from CID South, said: “These scams can be extremely convincing and manipulative. The fraudsters will give fake information and will always claim the transaction must be done in secret. The fraudsters condition their victim not to trust bank branch staff, which can make it hard for those staff to help.
“These calls are not genuine and payments should not be made. No legitimate bank/building society, police officer, or business will ever phone you to ask you to give them your card, your PIN, or your cash in the way we've described.
"Don't trust anyone who calls you about your bank details. Always hang up and wait 10 minutes to ensure the call has disconnected before calling 101. If you want to check they are legitimate, find their number via directory enquiries and call them back.
“Use a different telephone to make sure the line is clear. If they are genuine, you should be able to get through to them. You can also check what they are saying is true with your bank.
“Scams like this can be very elaborate, very convincing and cruel. If you think someone is trying to scam you, tell someone straight away. Don't be pressured. Give yourself time to stop and think.
“We are working hard to identify those conning our elderly and vulnerable but whilst we carry out our enquiries we are asking for help from the public to spread this message throughout the wider community and urge you to pass it on, particularly to elderly relatives or neighbours.
“Please remember the police will never contact you asking for your bank card or cash. If someone does, it's a scam – provide no details and hand nothing over, hang up and report it immediately to Action Fraud or wait ten minutes and call either 0300 123 2040 or 101.”