Police are once again reminding the public to remain vigilant to the problem of telephone scammers as fraudsters are continuing to operate in the region.
Officers have received four reports of telephone calls from fraudsters today where offenders have purported to be from the Metropolitan Police investigating bank fraud and asking for funds to be transferred. Police have established that no funds were handed over today, but officers want to again urge residents to be alert to the problem.
Detective Inspector Angela Hufton wants to remind the public to be on their guard and continue to follow police advice to protect themselves from becoming a victim of these fraudsters.
DI Hufton said: "We want to make it clear that a police officer will never ask you to move funds from one bank account to another. That would not happen. Anyone who says they are a police officer and asks you to do this are clearly fraudsters. I would ask that you remain vigilant and try and look after family, friends or neighbours who could be susceptible to these criminals. Pass on our advice and contact us immediately if it is believed they have had a similar call or been targeted online."
Police give the following steps to avoid becoming a victim:
Be aware that fraudsters often use techniques to hold your phone line open, so that when you try to dial out to verify the caller, they intercept and re-answer the call, claiming to be the bank or law enforcement;
To ensure that your phone has not been compromised, we recommend using a different phone line to verify the caller. Where a second phone line is not available, try calling a family or friend on the line first, as the fraudster will find it difficult to impersonate a voice that is known to you;
Never disclose your PIN or online/telephone banking log-in information or card reader codes to anyone, even if the caller claims to be from the bank or police. Remember, banks NEVER call and ask you to disclose these security details;
If you receive a call requesting your PIN, card details or online / telephone banking log-in information, end the call immediately;
If you receive a suspicious or unexpected call, always verify the caller by taking their phone number and getting it checked independently;
Ensure elderly relatives and neighbours are aware of the fraud and crime prevention advice.
Report any suspicious phone calls to police straight away on 101.