Warning of telephone scam by fake police officer
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Gloucestershire Constabulary has warned people to be aware of a telephone scammer claiming to be from the police.
The Constabulary’s Control Room has received two reports from Stroud from people who have been targeted. They believe others may have also been called.
In both cases, the caller claimed to be named Thomas Matthews and said he was calling from the Fraud Office after reports that the victim’s card had been used to buy a washing machine.
In the first call, the trickster also suggested that he was a Detective Inspector.
The two incidents, which happened around 2pm on Wednesday 29 April, are both scams.
Gloucestershire Constabulary is urging people to make their elderly friends, relatives and neighbours aware that this is happening.
The tricksters often ask the person they have called to hang up and dial 999 to confirm they are a police officer, however they leave the phone line open and you end up talking to the same person, or someone working with them.
Thankfully in these two reported cases both people were not tricked, and instead called police off a different line.
Fraudsters often choose a dialling code and target one area with numerous phone calls for a number of days before moving on to another location.
Anyone who receives a similar call should hang up the phone and do not follow their instructions.
- Neither police nor bank officials will ever ask you to withdraw money from your account, purchase anything or hand over your personal details or passwords.
- 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, 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.
- Just because someone knows basic details about you like your address or date of birth, it doesn’t mean they are genuine bank or police employees.
- Always question suspicious phone calls and report them to Action Fraud or the police.
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. For more advice about fraud visit: https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/personal-fraud/