Warning over ‘fake police’ scam
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Police or other officials will NEVER ask you to hand over cash, bank cards or other valuables.
That’s the clear message from officers, who are warning that criminals are still impersonating law enforcement in a bid to convince their victims to part with hard-earned money.
Criminals use a number of different strategies in their attempts to line their own pockets. They include the following:
- The victim receives a phone call supposedly from the police, telling them that suspicious activity has been noticed on their account, that someone else has been withdrawing money from their account, or that they need the victim’s help for an ‘undercover operation’
- The victim is then told a police officer – actually another criminal in on the scam – will collect from them their bank cards or cash, or may ask for cash to be transferred to a separate, ‘safe’ account – which actually belongs to the criminals.
- Victims may even be told they can ring 999 to check out what is being said. However, because the criminal keeps the phone line open, the call is again answered by a fraudulent accomplice.
DI Nick Bellamy, from South Wales Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said:
“While most of the country is pulling together during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is despicable that a small number are looking to dupe others in a bid to enrich themselves.
“Fraudsters have well-rehearsed routines and can be extremely convincing. However, please remember that the police, government agencies, banks and reputable businesses will never ask you to disclose personal information or bank details, or demand payments.
“If you do receive a call like this, hang up. To speak to police, make sure your line is clear – you can do so by trying to ring someone you know first, and seeing if you can get through. If you have people coming to your address, dial 999.”
Other frauds currently being reported across the country include fraudsters trying to cash in during the Covid-19 pandemic by pretending to have PPE such as facemasks for sale, or even treatment for Covid-19, and sending out a range of coronavirus-related spam emails.