Warning issued following police impersonation scams
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We are urging the public to stay vigilant against scammers impersonating police officers, following recent reports of people being tricked into handing over money and valuables in Bedfordshire.
These scams involve criminals calling unsuspecting victims and telling a series of elaborate lies, such as claiming to be investigating a fraud case or that a relative is in custody, to convince them to part with their money or personal belongings.
In some cases, someone posing as a courier or police officer has shown up at the victim’s home after the phone call to collect the items.
Detective Constable Lorelle Hathaway said: "This is a particularly despicable scam in which criminals appear to be targeting elderly and vulnerable individuals.
"We are urging residents to remain cautious and refrain from sharing personal or financial information with cold callers, even if they claim to be police officers.
“We'd also appreciate it if people could share this message with their friends and family, in particular with any older or potentially vulnerable relatives and neighbours, to ensure they know how to best protect themselves from these types of schemes.”
To avoid becoming a victim of a police impersonation scam, remember:
Police will never ask you to transfer money to another account, hand over cash or bank cards to a courier, or a pay a fine or fee over the phone. If someone asks you to do this, it's a scam.
If an officer contacts you in person, they will show you their warrant card. This is proof of their identify and authority.
If someone has called you and you are unsure if they are a genuine police officer, you can hang up and call police on 101 to check their identity. It is recommended you wait at least five minutes before you call, as there have been cases of fraudsters keeping the line open after a victim has hung up.