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Bogus callers are operating in Worcestershire and Herefordshire

Police are urging the public to trust their instincts and to pass on information about telephone frauds operating within Herefordshire and Worcestershire to friends, relatives and neighbours - particularly the elderly and vulnerable.

West Mercia Police have seen a recent increase in fraudsters claiming to be from various police services around the country. These include callers that are pretending to be police officers from London's Westminster and Hammersmith forces.

They often target the old and vulnerable and we would urge everyone to tell someone, by passing on the information about the bogus callers to relatives, friends and neighbours who may not have heard about the local telephone scam in operation.

Scams include:

  • A phone caller pretending to be a police officer who is investigating corrupt bank staff, or a bank investigating its own staff.

  • The phone caller will tell the victim their account has been subject to such a fraud and that they must cooperate with the 'investigation'.

  • The victim is then persuaded to withdraw funds and hand them over to the 'investigators', either by some remote means or in person to a courier.

  • Alternatively the victim may be asked to hand over bank cards, vouchers or other valuable items. They may also be asked to transfer funds to another account, which is controlled by the fraudsters.

These scams can be extremely convincing and manipulative. The fraudsters may give (alleged) crime numbers, investigation details, and job titles. They will always claim that the transaction must be done in secret. The fraudsters condition their victim not to trust bank branch staff, which can make it hard for those staff to help.

These calls are not genuine and payments should not be made. No legitimate bank/building society, police officer, or business will ever phone you to ask you to give them your card, your PIN, or your cash in the way we've described above.

Detective Inspector Emma Wright, head of West Mercia Police's Economic Crime Unit, said: "Don't trust anyone who calls you about your bank details. Always hang up and wait 10 minutes, or use another telephone line, to ensure the call has disconnected before making another call.

"If you want to check a caller is legitimate, find their number via directory enquiries or another trusted source and call them back, do not use a number provided by the caller. If they are genuine, you should be able to get through to them. You can also check what they are saying is true by contacting your bank in person or on a number you know for the bank.

"The scams are elaborate, very convincing and cruel. If you think someone is trying to defraud you, tell someone straight away. Don't be pressured.

"Give yourself time to stop and think. Please remember the police will never contact you asking for your bank card, bank details, cash or valuables.

"If someone does, it's a scam - provide no details and hand nothing over, hang up and report it immediately to Action Fraud at or 0300 123 2040."

She added: "We are asking for help from the public to spread this message throughout the wider community and would urge you to pass it on, particularly to elderly relatives or neighbours, reminding them not to trust anyone who asks them for their bank details or who requests the handover of bank cards, money or valuable items."

If you get a phone call like the ones we've described, hang up - do not provide any personal details or hand anything over. Then report it to Action Fraud at or 0300 123 2040.

If the crime is still in progress, because for example, you have recently provided bank details or handed over cards or cash, or the caller has arranged for someone to visit your address to collect items, you should call the police to report this on 101. In an emergency dial 999.

If you need some support from your bank or building society, go to your local branch or phone them on the correct number (not one a mystery caller gives you, as this is likely to be part of the scam).

Issued: 2pm, 05.07.18, MC, Corporate Communications

Published 05/07/18