ATTENTION: Read this police advice to avoid becoming victim of phone scammers

Photo by: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/Press Association Images
Photo by: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Police are reminding the public to remain vigilant to the problem of telephone scammers – as fraudsters are continuing to operate.

Officers have received three reports of attempted fraud and one of actual fraud – all today (Monday, January 4) – where offenders have purported to be from the Metropolitan Police investigating bank fraud.

These have involved the offenders asking victims to complete bank transfers. In three cases none of the victims, who have reported the incidents have, transferred any money, but most recently one person did and transferred over a large sum.

Detective Inspector Angela Hufton wants to remind the public to be on their guard and continue to follow police advice to protect themselves from becoming a victim of these fraudsters.

DI Hufton said: “We want to make it clear than no police officer will ever ask you to move funds from one bank account to another. That simply would not happen. Anyone who says they are a police officer and asks you to do this are fraudsters.

“I would ask that you remain vigilant and try and look after family, friends or neighbours who could be susceptible to these criminals. Pass on our advice and contact us immediately, if it is believed they have had a similar call or been targeted online.”

Police give the following steps to avoid becoming a victim:

– Be aware that fraudsters often use techniques to hold your phone line open, so that when you try to dial out to verify the caller, they intercept and re-answer the call, claiming to be the bank or law enforcement.

-To ensure that your phone has not been compromised, we recommend using a different phone line to verify the caller. Where a second phone line is not available, try calling a family or friend on the line first, as the fraudster will find it difficult to impersonate a voice that is known to you.

– Never disclose your PIN or online / telephone banking log-in information or card reader codes to anyone, even if the caller claims to be from the bank or police. Remember, banks NEVER call and ask you to disclose these security details.

– If you receive a call requesting your PIN, card details or online / telephone banking log-in information, end the call immediately.

– If you receive a suspicious or unexpected call, always verify the caller by taking their phone number and getting it checked independently.

– Ensure elderly relatives and neighbours are aware of the fraud and crime prevention advice.

Further advice is available by searching Northumbria Police #crimeprevention online.

Report any suspicious phone calls to police straight away on 101.

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