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Hertfordshire Constabulary release images in connection with county-wide phone scam
Police investigating a series of scam phone calls across the county have released a series of images of people they would like to speak to in connection with the crimes.
Operation Policy is the investigation into the fraudulent phone calls which see offenders calling people pretending to be a police officer and requesting bank details.
Since August there has been over 90 incidents reported to police in Hertfordshire. The majority of people have refused to provide their details however some victims have lost thousands of pounds.
The photos, which are from crimes which occurred in towns including Watford, Rickmansworth and Radlett, can be viewed via the below video.
A 20-year-old man from London was arrested on Monday, October 7 on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud, in relation to a similar offence which occurred in Radlett in May. He has been released on police bail while enquiries continue.
Detective Inspector Jason Keane, leading Hertfordshire Constabulary’s investigation into the crimes, said: "We are releasing images of people who we would like to speak to in connection with these crimes. It may be that they were witnesses to what happened or can help police with our investigation.
"I would also like to use this opportunity to remind people that police officers would never ask you to reveal your personal bank account details, including your PIN or bank card. Never give them out over the phone. Visit your local branch if you have any concerns about your account.
"If you do get a call, leave the landline for at least five minutes before attempting to make an outside call or test the line first by phoning a friend or relative.
"We would urge people to share this information and advice with their elderly relatives or neighbours so they are aware."
If you recognise these people please contact Herts Police via the non-emergency number, 101, quoting Operation Policy.
How the scam works:
The scam works in different ways. The offender calls the resident, purporting to be a police officer, investigating a fraud on their bank account. On occasions, they claim to be working for the victim’s bank and they then ask for account information, including their card numbers, security number and pin number. Sometimes the offenders will ask victims to ‘key in’ their PIN number into the phone - the number is then captured by the offenders.
In some cases, if the resident becomes suspicious, the offender suggests that they call 999 or 101 to ask for confirmation that the person is a police officer.
The victim then calls police, but doesn’t realise that the offender has not hung up so goes straight through to them again. In some cases a female offender comes on the line and pretends to be working in the ‘police control room’ and verifies the ‘officer’s’ details.
The caller is then ‘transferred’ back through to the first offender who obtains all the victim’s details. On occasions the victim is asked to cut their cards in half leaving the chip intact, which builds trust with the victim, but the card can be repaired with tape and be used as normal.
A ‘courier’ is then sent to the house to pick up the victim’s card which is then used to obtain money.
The offenders are deliberately targeting older victims, with their ages ranging from 60s to 90s.