Action Fraud have reported a recent series of incidents where fraudsters have either phoned or attended the home address of elderly members of the public, claiming to be police officers.
The fake officer will claim that they are investigating a fraud which they believe affects the elderly person, and they will then request the bank cards and personal identification numbers (PIN) of the victim and claim these are needed for investigation purposes.
If the first contact was made by a phone call, the fake officer will tell the victim that someone will be over to collect the evidence. In one case, the victim was instructed to attend their local bank and withdraw all of the money from their account. The suspect was left alone in the victim’s house whilst the victim carried out the instructions.
Action Fraud say that you can protect yourself by doing the following:
• Before letting anyone into your home who claims to be from any law enforcement agency, ask to see their identity card and check it by calling 101.
• Ask if they can attend at a pre-arranged time when a family member or friend can also be present.
• If you receive a phone call from a police officer, ask for their name and force and tell them you will call them back. Wait a few minutes and then use 101 to call them back through their force’s switchboard and verify their identity.
• The Police will never ask for your PIN or passwords. Do not give this information to anyone.
• The Police will never request that you withdraw/transfer any money to them.
If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud, you can report it online at www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by calling 0300 123 2040.