Felixstowe: Five homes in town targeted by phone scammers purporting to be police
21:20 01 June 2014
A scammer purporting to be a police officer has targeted several homes in Felixstowe over the phone.
Suffolk Police are renewing pleas for residents to be alert after the scam calls yesterday evening.
Police in the county have received at least five reports since 7pm yesterday from residents who were contacted by a man who claimed to be a Metropolitan Police officer.
In each case the caller told the person they had someone detained for fraud after trying to buy items with the resident’s credit or debit card or that their card had been cloned.
In four of the incidents the residents became suspicious during the course of the conversation and no information was given. Card information was passed during one of the calls but the cards have now been cancelled.
It is possible more homes have been targeted since yesterday evening and police are renewing warnings not to give out any personal information – particularly bank account, card details or PIN numbers – to such callers.
In carrying out scams like this the criminals often leave the telephone line open, so when the victims believe they have hung up to make another call to either the police or their bank they are in fact still on the line to the criminals who made the original call.
Police have issued the following, and have asked members of the public to alert older family members and friends to the tricks the scammers use:
-Police, and your bank, will never ask for your PIN, bank card or bank account details over the phone – never give these details out.
-The police will never call you and ask you to withdraw money from your account, and will never ask you to handover bank cards or cash to give to a courier or taxi driver, regardless of how convincing the caller may seem.
-If you receive such a call leave the landline for at least five minutes to make an outside call. Fraudsters will keep the line open and have been known to play ring tones, hold music or a recorded message down the phone so the victim believes they are making a call to a legitimate number. Use a friend’s or neighbour’s telephone instead.
-Friends, family, carers and neighbours are asked to spread the word to ensure everyone is aware of this scam - and please don’t give out personal details.