Bogus caller fraud scams – how to stay safe
There have been numerous reports of elderly residents within the Newcastle and Gateshead area having been targeted by bogus callers posing as police offers from Metropolitan police.
The callers who are well spoken and polite, claim fraudulent activity on the persons bank account and instruct them to withdraw their money to hand over to a courier for safe keeping.
This is a scam which is affecting residents on a national level and involves fraudsters intercepting phone lines, holding open lines and posing as other police forces and banking authorities.
Financial Fraud Action UK has reported that cold-call scam artists are costing phone users £24milion annually - convincing people to release sensitive information.
If you receive a call of this nature, here are our five key steps to staying safe:
1. Always be on your guard if you receive a cold call and are asked for personal or financial information, or to hand over your card or cash to someone.
2. The bank or the police will never tell you to take such actions, so if you're asked it can only be a criminal attack.'
3. Fraudsters may ask consumers to hang up and phone back, in a bid to win confidence. But this is a trick where the receiver is not put down at their end, leaving the line open, allowing the fraudster to simply restart the conservation when the consumer thinks a new call has been made.
4. If suspicious, wait a full five minutes before attempting to make a call. After five minutes has passed, try to call a friend or family member first to make sure the line is free, or use a second phone where available.
5. Never give out your four-digit PIN over the phone, even if you believe you are talking to a genuine police officer or bank personnel.