Police are warning members of the public about a telephone scam in which the offenders are pretending to be police officers and conning vulnerable people out of thousands of pounds.
The criminals are calling residents, some of whom are elderly and vulnerable, claiming to be police officers. They then say that a relative has been arrested and the victim needs to come and pay their bail. They will then attempt to get the victim to meet them at a cash machine to withdraw their bail money.
This year has seen 62 reported incidents within Leicestershire relating to the callers claiming to be from the police and attempting to pull off this type of scam. Nine of these attempts were successful which resulted in a total financial loss to the victims of more than £62,000.
The fraudster’s narrative can, however, change daily and as well as impersonating a police officer, other common organisations they imitate can include, a bank, HMRC and Action Fraud.
Paul Wenlock, Head of the Economic Crime Unit at Leicestershire Police, said: “This kind of crime preys on the best intentions of some of the most vulnerable people. We cannot emphasise enough that the police would never call you to come and pay someone’s bail. Neither would your bank ask for your bank details, nor would HMRC ring asking you for money.
“If you are unsure about the nature of a phone call, then ‘Take Five’. Call someone that you trust and ask them if they think the call sounds legitimate.
“We are also encouraging people to #tell2. Tell two people in your life about telephone fraud and how they can protect themselves. If they then pass this information on to another two people, we can begin to protect lots of people. An unbroken chain of 26 ‘tell2’ers’ would reach 67 million people, more than the total UK population.”