Phone scammers impersonating police officers are targeting people in south west Hertfordshire.
One victim was a Watford woman in her late 50s who was persuaded to hand over her bank card to a scammer after a phone call on July 16.
Hertfordshire Constabulary said she was called by someone purporting to be a police officer claiming that the victims’ bank accounts had been compromised.
The offender convinced the victims to part with their bank account details and organised a courier collection of their bank cards, which were later used to withdraw money.
Similar incidents were reported in Rickmansworth (2), Oxhey (1) and north Watford (5), but in these cases the intended victims ended the call after they realised it was false and no details were passed on.
Another person in Bushey was also targeted but realised the call was a scam.
Detective Inspector Jason Keane, who leads Hertfordshire Constabulary’s response to phone scams, said: "More and more people are recognising the scams for what they are and rightly not parting with their personal and banking details. Whilst this is encouraging and arrests are continuing to be made, it is still vitally important for people to remain aware that scams are still operating right across the county.
"In the vast majority of cases the elderly and vulnerable are the ones who are targeted by the offenders. As this is the case, I would urge everyone to share the following advice with their relatives, friends and neighbours.
"If you receive a call you’re not expecting, you should be suspicious. The vital things to remember are that your bank and the police would:
"Never ask for your bank account details or PIN number over the phone, so do not disclose these to anyone, no matter who they claim to be.
"Never ask you to withdraw money and send it to them via a courier, taxi or by any other means.
"Never ask you to send your bank cards, or any other personal property, to them via courier, taxi or by any other means.
"If you are not happy with a phone call and are suspicious of the conversation you have with the caller then please end the call and contact police via the non-emergency number, 101. Remember, when reporting a suspicious phone call to police, wait at least five minutes before attempting to make the call or use a mobile or neighbour’s phone to ensure you’re not reconnected to the offender."
For further information about phone scams and how to avoid becoming a victim, please visit www.herts.police.uk/PhoneScams.
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