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Police warning on phone scams

There have been a number of phone scams over the past week Photo: ITV Anglia

Hertfordshire Police are reissuing a warning about phone scams.

It follows at least six incidents in Bishop's Stortford over the past week - with five of them happening on Monday. The caller poses as a police officer and pretends to be investigating a fraud on their bank account.

An 87-year-old woman was called and convinced to part with her PIN numbers and bank cards, which were later collected from her house. The cards were then used to withdraw £1000.

In the other incidents, the people realised it was a phone scam. They ended the call without providing any personal information.

Detective Inspector Jason Keane says it has a "devastating effect on victims" Credit: ITV Anglia

This scam has a devastating effect on the victims: not only do they lose substantial amounts of money but they lose their confidence and trust in people.

I would urge people to make sure they’re aware of this scam to ensure they do not become a victim of it. I would also urge people to share this information with their neighbours, relatives and friends, particularly the elderly as they are often targeted.

– Detective Inspector Jason Keane, Hertfordshire Police

Protect yourself from phone scams

Hertfordshire Police have come up with some advice on how to protect yourself from phone scams:

  • Remember, your bank and the police would never ask you for your card or your PIN number.
  • If you do get a suspicious phone call, leave your landline for at least five minutes before using it again. Even after you hang up, phone scammers can stay on the line for several minutes.
  • If you have any concerns, visit your bank's local branch or call the police on 101 - the non-emergency number.
  • Some phone companies offer call screening services which can be effective in blocking bogus callers. Contact your phone company and ask about call screening and caller display services.

For further information, visit the Hertfordshire Police website: http://www.herts.police.uk/advice/crimeprevention/phonescams.aspx