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Northumbria Police Important Information
Police are warning people to be alert to a phone scam.
Fraudsters, pretending to be police officers, are targeting people over the phone and trying to con them out of their life savings.
Officers are currently investigating three incidents that happened in the Sunderland area but are advising people throughout the region to be on their guard.
The con involves a member of the public receiving a call from a person pretending to be a police officer. This fake officer tells the victim that their bank account is at risk of being hacked and they face having their money stolen.
They are told to contact their bank and withdraw all of the money from their account as soon as possible and that a police officer would come to their house, collect it and take statements.
The fake officer then tells the victim to hang up and ring the local police to confirm that the story is genuine.
The victim ends the call, thinking they have hung up on the 'officer' but the offender does not hang up and keeps the line open and the call going.
The victim then dials their local police and thinks they are speaking to the force, when in fact, because the previous call is still open, they are still talking with the fraudster, who is pretending to be a local police officer and falsely confirms that their bank account is at risk and the 'officer' is genuine.
They then arrange a date and time for an 'officer' to come and pick the cash up and take a statement.
Police are urging people to be on their guard and to take 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.
Report any suspicious phone calls to police straight away on 101
Northumbria Police is giving young people the opportunity to join the force as recruitment for police cadets is opened.
The police cadet scheme is a four-year project that gives participants the opportunity to see what it is like to be a police officer. Those who take part gain great skills and experience, helping to develop their future prospects.
Cadets provide invaluable support to policing teams across the force, from assisting at community events, taking part in crime-prevention initiatives and carrying out online meetings to find out what concerns the community.
Assistant Chief Constable Jo Farrell said: “The cadet scheme is a fantastic way for young people to gain skills and experience they may not otherwise have the opportunity to. The four-year scheme sees young people see what it is like to be a police officer and be involved in the work police officers do as well as work towards the Duke of Edinburgh award.
“Northumbria Police covers a vast area made up of diverse communities and we want to hear from young people from all sorts of backgrounds as they will all have something they can bring to the team and hopefully also find it incredibly rewarding.”
For more information about the scheme and how to apply, visit the Northumbria Police website.