Police issue impersonation fraud warning

Don't fall foul of the phone scammers
Don't fall foul of the phone scammers

Phones scammers are using sophisticated techniques to try and con victims out of their money by sending them into banks to transfer or withdraw cash, and Humberside Police is trying to ensure Isle residents don’t fall foul of their tricks.

Officers have received reports of criminals calling the public posing as police officers, from financial institutions, fraud teams, and telephone companies in their attempts to try and get money from bank accounts.

They’ll claim there’s a problem with insiders at the bank, hackers attacking the internet, an overpayment of a refund, or a police ‘investigation‘ for which they need help in tracking fraudsters or checking bank notes.

Unsuspecting victims are asked to go into their bank while talking with the scammer on the phone and to stay on the line with them.

They’ll be asked to avoid eye contact, talk with bank staff, or talk about what they’re doing as it could ‘jeopardise an investigation’.

They’ll also be told that they’re being watched and what to say if asked why the funds are being withdrawn or transferred.

A fraudster impersonating an ‘officer’ or a ‘courier’ may be waiting outside the bank for the money, or the victim may be asked to go home and wait for someone to come and to collect the cash.

Some people have been asked to make repeat trips to the bank to take out or transfer further funds.

The advice is, please don’t be taken in.

Detective Sergeant Ivan Simms from Humberside Police’s economic crime unit said: “These fraudsters are targeting some of the most vulnerable people in our society and can be very persuasive and sound very convincing.

“Bank staff are trained to spot scams in their own workplace as they’re happening, and to call us if they believe someone is being conned.

“This is called the ‘Banking Protocol’.

“We work with banks to stop people from becoming a victim.”

He added: “Be aware and be vigilant.

“If you think anyone you know is being scammed or targeted in this way please make them aware of it and always call us.

“We can work together to reduce these types of crimes, and deter the criminals from trying again.”

Anyone who thinks they may have been the victim of a fraud should contact the police on telephone number 101.

Resident can also sign up for the force’s My Community Alert to get more advice, and news about what’s happening in the community. Visit the website www.mycommunityalert.co.uk