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Suffolk: Appeal for people to be wary of ‘police officer scammers’ asking for people to contact their banks

16:12 04 August 2014

Police in Suffolk have urged people to stay vigilant and not hand over bank details after a woman in her 60s was contacted as part of a ‘police officer’ scam which is operating in the county.

The woman, who lives in Kessingland, was called at about 4.15pm on Thursday by a man claiming to be a detective constable working for Hammersmith police.

He said he had arrested a man who was in custody and that he had ‘fraudulently withdrawn funds’ from her account and that she would need to contact her bank as soon as possible.

The woman told police she thought the call was odd.

But she called the bank later on and staff there advised her that the call had been part of a scam to take money from her and that she would not need to take action.

Detective Chief Inspector Tonya Antonis, of Suffolk police, said: “This lady did exactly the right thing. We have been issuing advice over the past few months since this particular type of scam started in Suffolk, advising people not to call their bank immediately, confirm bank details or hand over any money.

“People committing these crimes come up with different, more elaborate scam ideas all the time. Their victims are often older or vulnerable people and when they purport to be police officers they sound very plausible.

“When the victim hangs up to then call their bank (or the relevant force where the man was ringing from), the scammer doesn’t hang up which in effect leaves the line open so the victim then calls them back.

“We would advise people to never give out their bank details. A bank or a police officer would never ask you to clarify these details over the phone. If you are able to seek clarity from your bank but call them from a different phone, a mobile or your neighbours or alternatively wait for 5-10 minutes for your line to clear.”

Anyone who is called as part of this scam is also asked to call police straight away to report the matter.

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