Phone scam warning after caller claimed to be police officer
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Gloucestershire Constabulary is advising people to be aware of a phone scam where the caller claims to be a police officer attempting to gain bank details.
In an incident reported to police yesterday, Wednesday 18 December, a man had called the Cheltenham resident on her landline to say someone had been arrested for using her debit card.
The caller said he was a DCI, gave a collar number and then listed numbers which he claimed were crime reference numbers. He then asked the woman to call 999 and to quote those numbers to get more details on the incident to ensure it was a secure call.
This is a scam and often if a person hangs up the line remains open for the following call and either ends up speaking to the same person or another person involved in the scam.
Thankfully the woman was suspicious of him, did not hand over details and the fraudster then hung up after being questioned on how he had her phone number.
She then called police on her mobile to report this.
Police are urging the public to make their relatives, friends and neighbours aware of this scam. Fraudsters can target anyone, but often try and target those who are vulnerable or elderly.
How to protect yourself (advice from The Little Book of Big Scams):
- Be extremely wary of unsolicited phone calls from your bank or the police, particularly if they are requesting personal information.
- End the call, call back on a different phone line or on a mobile phone. If this is not possible, wait at least five minutes before calling back. Use either the telephone number on your bank card, go to the bank's website or for the police dial 101.
- Speak to friends, family or neighbours before carrying out any actions. Don't trust claims made by cold callers.
- Never hand over your money, bank cards or make purchases following an unexpected call.
- Never share your PIN with anyone.
Remember - your bank or the police will never ask you for your PIN, bank card, or ask you to withdraw money or buy items on their behalf.
Caution - if you receive an unexpected call, hang up and use another phone to call back and confirm identity.
Think - How do I know they are who they say they are?
Advice on protecting yourself against scams and frauds can be found on our website here: https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/personal-fraud/
For more advice from The Little Book of Big Scams, please visit: https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/SysSiteAssets/media/downloads/central/advice/fraud/met/the-little-book-of-big-scams.pdf