Public praised for vigilance

22 Dec 2015 12:00 PM

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Police are praising the public for remaining vigilant to scammers after a number of failed attempts by fraudsters.

In the last 24 hours, police have received a number of reports of attempted fraud where offenders have purported to be from the Metropolitan Police investigating bank fraud.

All cases have involved the offenders asking victims to complete bank transfers. Thankfully, none of the victims who have reported the incidents have transferred any money and officers have praised their vigilance and ask anyone who receives any sort of similar call to contact police immediately.

Detective Chief Inspector John Bent has welcomed the response from the public and urges others to be on their guard and continue to follow advice to protect themselves from becoming a victim of these fraudsters.

DCI Bent said: "These criminals are clever, deceitful and manipulative and it would be very easy to become a victim to them. I am pleased that people are listening to the advice we give but there will be people out there who are perhaps more vulnerable to these criminals and could end up transferring money to them.

"No police force would ask anyone to transfer money or take money out of their account to pass over to police officers. If you receive a call of this nature it is more than likely a scam.

"I would ask that you remain vigilant and try and look after family, friends or neighbours who could be susceptible to these criminals. Pass on our advice and contact us immediately if it is believed they have had a similar call or been targeted online."

Police give the following steps to avoid becoming a victim:

- Be aware that fraudsters often use techniques to hold your phone line open, so that when you try to dial out to verify the caller, they intercept and re-answer the call, claiming to be the bank or law enforcement.

-To ensure that your phone has not been compromised, we recommend using a different phone line to verify the caller. Where a second phone line is not available, try calling a family or friend on the line first, as the fraudster will find it difficult to impersonate a voice that is known to you.

- Never disclose your PIN or online / telephone banking log-in information or card reader codes to anyone, even if the caller claims to be from the bank or police. Remember, banks NEVER call and ask you to disclose these security details.

- If you receive a call requesting your PIN, card details or online / telephone banking log-in information, end the call immediately.

- If you receive a suspicious or unexpected call, always verify the caller by taking their phone number and getting it checked independently.

- Ensure elderly relatives and neighbours are aware of the fraud and crime prevention advice.

Further advice is available by searching Northumbria Police #crimeprevention online.

Report any suspicious phone calls to police straight away on 101.

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