Elderly residents targeted by callers claiming to be police officers
PUBLISHED: 16:56 22 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:56 22 November 2019
Residents are being warned to be vigilant to cold callers claiming to be police officers following two incidents in South Norfolk.
Police have issued the warning after elderly residents in Wymondham and Chedgrave were cold called on the phone by a man claiming to be an officer.
The first incident happened on Thursday, November 21 when a resident in Chedgrave, near Loddon, was called by a man claiming to be a police officer from Hammersmith Police. He stated the victim's bank account had been hacked and that money needed to be withdrawn by the account holder to rectify it. The victim went to the bank where staff intervened and no money was taken.
A second incident on Friday, November 22 saw a woman in Wymondham receive a cold call from someone claiming to be a detective from Norfolk Police. The man asked the resident to confirm her address, which she did. The woman's carer then took the call and asked the man to provide his collar number, at which point the call was terminated.
Detective Sergeant Chris Archer said: "This is a known method used by suspects to commit frauds and encourage vulnerable victims to withdraw large sums of money from their accounts.
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"Fortunately, no money has been handed over in either incident but we clearly want people to be vigilant to such scams."
Police have warned people to never give out personal information about your bank account to anybody over the phone. If someone calls claiming to be a police officer, ask for their identification number and police force. Hang up and call 101 using a different phone.
If you cannot use a different phone, wait at least five minutes before calling back. A genuine police officer will not mind waiting while you check.
Det Sgt Chris Archer said: "Genuine police officers or staff would never approach residents and ask for cash withdrawals to be made or for people to purchase items on their behalf.
"I would ask people with vulnerable relatives, friends or neighbours to make sure they are aware of this type of scam."
Anyone with concerns about such calls should contact Norfolk Constabulary on 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress. Alternatively call Action Fraud on 0300 1232040.