Police urges local residents to be vigilant to phone scammers

Not even cold weather can stop scammers it seems – all they need is a phone. Police have issued warnings about scammers targeting elderly and vulnerable people in the county.

Scammers have been calling local residents pretending to be police officers and subsequently requesting large sums of cash or valuable goods to be handed over to them. The police have now issued warning after several incidents have been reported throughout Norfolk.

Investigating officer, Detective Inspector Chris Burgess of Norwich CID, urged for residents to be vigilant to this scam.

He said: “We’re urging members of the public, particularly the elderly who are primarily being targeted, to be vigilant to cold calls made on the telephone.

“Genuine police officers or staff would never approach residents and ask for cash withdrawals to be made or for people to purchase items on their behalf.

“I would ask people with vulnerable relatives, friends or neighbours to make sure they are aware of this type of scam.”

Officers have this advice:

  • Never give out personal information about your bank account to anybody over the phone.
  • If someone calls claiming to be a police officer, ask for their identification number and police force. Hang up and call 101 using a different phone. If you can’t use a different phone, wait at least five minutes before calling back. A genuine police officer will not mind waiting while you check.
  • Police and banks will never ask you to give out personal details such as account numbers or PIN numbers.
  • If you have given out information which could compromise your bank account security in any way, call your bank to cancel your cards as soon as possible.
  • Never hand over money to someone at the door to be sent off elsewhere.

Phone scams are still quite widespread in different shapes and forms. A common phone scam involves unknown callers saying that there is a problem with washing machine at property while knowing the name of the householder and the address.  As soon as these scammers are challenged, they hang up.

Anyone with concerns about such calls should contact Norfolk Police on the non-emergency number 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress. Alternatively, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.