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Fraudsters posing as police officers prey on vulnerable in Alton

3 minute read
Fraudsters posing as police officers prey on vulnerable in Alton

Published at 6:00am 2nd August 2017. (Updated at 8:07am 2nd August 2017)

Hampshire Police is urging the public to be vigiliant following a series of fraud incidents in Alton.

The force received three similar reports of fraud on 27 July.

In all three incidents, the victims were contacted by phone by people claiming to be police officers.

In one incident the victim was told that police were investigating misuse of her credit card and was asked to withdraw money from her bank.

The victim was advised to call police to clarify that it was a genuine investigation, however the caller managed to stay on the line to confirm the officer’s name and that it was an ongoing investigation.

It was following this confirmation that the victim withdrew money from the bank and left it at an agreed location for it to be picked.

When the victim didn’t hear from the man again, she reported it to her bank, who called the police.

Police Community Support Officer Craig Graves said: “We would like to advise members of the public that police officers would never ask people to hand over money or financial details in this way.

“If you are contacted by anyone that you are not expecting, check that they are who they say they are and that the call is genuine.

"Find the correct number for the business/company yourself and call from a different phone, or wait 10 minutes before making the call, to ensure that the caller isn’t still connected.”

To protect yourself: 

  • never give personal details to anyone who contacts you unexpectedly
  • don’t carry documents or bank cards unless you need them
  • always shred unwanted documents such as bills, bank statements and even mail
  • keep personal documents in a secure place
  • report lost or stolen bank cards and personal documents immediately
  • check bank statements as soon as they arrive and always report any unusual activity
  • always keep your card in sight when paying at a shop or restaurant
  • don't respond to unsolicited phone calls or emails
  • never tell anyone your PIN number
  • never give personal information or bank account details to anyone over the phone
  • never hand over your card, money or valuables to someone at the door to be sent off elsewhere 

If someone comes to your door claiming to be a police officer, always ask to see their identification. Close the door and call 101 to check they are genuine, a real police officer will not mind waiting whilst you check.

To report fraud or for more information call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit http://www.actionfraud.police.uk.

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