Police in Gloucestershire have issued a warning after someone impersonating an officer scammed an elderly woman out of thousands of pounds.
The woman, who has not been named, was conned into handing over “several” thousands of pounds in cash after she was contacted by someone pretending to be a police officer.
The imposter told the woman she had been scammed by a local supermarket, and needed to withdraw money from two of her bank accounts.
The scammer then arranged for the cash to be collected by a courier, promising to return it in a weeks’ time - but this was never done.
Gloucestershire Police have since issued a warning, urging people - particularly elderly residents - to be aware of this type of crime.
Police are asking people to make their elderly relatives aware of this type of crime to prevent more people becoming victims,” the force said in a statement. The police will never ask you to provide bank details or withdraw sums of money to be collected.
Anyone who believes that they have been the victim of a fraudulent phone call can report this by calling police on 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
Advice on how to avoid being scammed:
If you believe you are being targeted by a scammer, hang up the phone and use a different phone line to call Action Fraud or the police. Scammers have a way to stay on the line and will pretend to be the police when you call back.
If you don’t have access to a different phone line, wait for a period of time and try calling a family member or friend first to make sure the scammer is no longer on the line.
Just because someone knows basic details about you like your address or date of birth, it doesn’t mean they are genuine police employees.
Always question suspicious phone calls and report them to Action Fraud or the police.
Always have a pad and pen next to the phone, if you get a suspicious call, take details, don’t get flustered, get names addresses and contact numbers. Then, disconnect the call. Walk away from the phone for at least five minutes and then contact Gloucestershire Constabulary to verify the details of the call.
If police from any other force area contact you, ask them to contact Gloucestershire Constabulary who will then communicate with you if they need to.