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Warning of fake police officer calls

North Yorkshire Police is issuing an urgent warning after three reports in 24 hours of this well known fake police officer telephone scam.

A caller rings the victim claiming to be from the police, and in these most recent cases, Sergeant White from the Serious Crime Unit at York. They tell the individual that a relative, grandson for example, has been arrested for trying to use the individual’s bank card in a retailer and that their account is under threat of fraud.

They then add another layer to the deceit by transferring the individual to ‘Officer Timothy Mason’ from Brixton Police who claims to be with the arrested individual.

The caller advises the individual that they need to immediately attend the bank and withdraw all money from their account in cash. A ‘police officer’ or courier will then come to their home to collect the cash and take it for safekeeping.

North Yorkshire Police Financial Abuse Safeguarding Officer, Andy Fox, said: “This is a fraud which will simply not go away and unfortunately one which continues to be highly effective.  The fraudsters add a layer of credibility by having another scammer pose as a second police officer which is all part of their manipulation to convince the victim they are real.

“You might read this and think you’d never fall victim to something so obviously a scam but you would be surprised by just how many people lose tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds to these calculated individuals.

“They work hard to be as convincing as possible and no one is immune from their approach. These fraudsters also use a technique called number spoofing, where anyone can make their phone number look like a legitimate one.

“Remember, the police or your bank will never contact you and ask you to move or transfer money. If you receive a call of this nature, hang up immediately. If you want to double-check whether it is a legitimate call, use a different phone to ring your bank’s customer service phone number.”

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