Police are urging people to be vigilant after a spate of frauds where people in Wiltshire have been tricked into handing over large amounts of money to criminals posing as police officers.
Two women from Wiltshire were recently targeted and duped into travelling to London and handing over tens of thousands of pounds and valuable goods to fraudsters.
These cases are the latest in a spate of recent incidents where members of the public, sometimes vulnerable elderly people, have been tricked by scammers.
We would urge people to be cautious when speaking to people over the phone who claim to be from the police, the bank or any other body.
DC Jayne Hurd, from the Wiltshire Fraud Investigation Team, said: “We need the assistance of the public to get the message across to the residents of Wiltshire and I ask everyone reading this article to cascade the information to their friends, family , neighbours and work colleagues.
“It is important to know that anyone can fall foul of this crime as the suspects are polite, well-spoken and often use police terminology to lull you into a false sense of security.
“The suspects will also insist that things are done “without delay” and push for money to be withdrawn as a matter of urgency in order to protect it , this is done to intimidate and confuse their victim.”
She added: “Fraud is not just committed against the elderly and vulnerable and we stress that the more that this type of crime is talked about between the residents of Wiltshire the more potential victims we will be protecting from this terrible crime.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of the below recommendations in order to protect your money. There will always be new frauds coming to our attention but if you follow the below advice you will remain safe against becoming another victim.”
– A genuine police officer or bank official will NEVER ask you to reveal personal financial details, about your account over the phone.
– They will NEVER ask you to withdraw or transfer money to different accounts or and deliver money to them at a named location.
– A real police officer or bank official will not mind you checking them out. However ALWAYS hang up your phone and use a different phone either mobile, friends or neighbours if necessary to make a call to 101 or to your local bank branch. The suspect will hold your landline open leading you to believe that you are dialling out when actually they are still there.
– Never allow the person to transfer you.
– ALWAYS use a number that you know to be true. It is imperative that you NEVER ring a number that you have been given over the phone or received via an email link. Use the number on the back of your bank card written along the top edge or use a number gained from your bank statement or via your banks secure internet website
– If you have any reservations about the call put the phone down.
– You will NEVER be asked to assist in an investigation in this manner
– Always speak to someone about what has happened. Whether this is talking to a family member or mentioning it to you bank.
– Do not keep quiet or make up a story about why you are withdrawing money because this is what you have been told to do over the phone. You will NEVER be asked to do this by either banks or police.
– Remember, you are always in control of the call NOT the person calling you. Always hang up if you are suspicious and report it.