We’ve seen an increase in bogus police officer cold calls, with a worrying trend that tricks the victim into thinking they have verified that the fraudster is legitimate.
There have been a number of reports where people have been called by someone posing to be a police officer and told that their help is needed in an undercover investigation into a bank. They are then asked to dial 999 to verify that the person they are talking to is a police officer before they go any further.
However, this is a tactic used by fraudsters where the suspect stays on the line without the victim realising. So they’ve actually stayed connected to the suspect and not dialled 999.
If you ever get a call from an officer that you’re not sure about, we’d ask you to verify the officer’s details by calling the force in question via the 101 service, ensuring that you speak directly with the named officer in question. Please make this call from a telephone line other than the one on which the cold call was received. If you do not have access to an alternate line wait at least 10 minutes before calling 101 on the same line.
A real police officer would NEVER call a member of the public asking them to disclose personal or financial information and then instruct them to take immediate financial action.
And they would not take issue with you going to any length to identify their identity nor would they try to intimidate or coerce you into taking the action they suggest over the telephone.
If you believe that you have been called by a bogus police officer, please report the incident to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre, on 0300 123 2040 or via www.actionfraud.police.uk.
If you’ve lost any money through this scam, please call us on 101 so we can preserve evidence as quickly as possible.