The Cambridgeshire Bobby Scheme is helping the local police to reduce the number of elderly and vulnerable victims of a scam in which a fraudster pretends to be a police officer to steal money.
The Bobby security advisors are delivering postcards to those they are visiting as a reminder not to give away their personal pin number or bank details over the phone – even if they think they are talking to the police.
The victims, who have predominantly been elderly or vulnerable are contact on the phone by someone claiming to be a police officer.
The caller then says a criminal has been arrested with a substantial sum of money on them and a list of names and addresses, including the victim’s.
The phoney officer then advises the victim to call their bank using a number on the back of their bank card. The victim hangs up but the caller does not and the call is not terminated.
As a result and without realising it, the victim starts talking to the fraudster again, thinking they have called their bank.
Following a conversation, the offender claims he will need to examine the victim’s bank card and will also need their PIN number as it might be compromised. They have been known to ask the caller to enter their pin over the phone.
The caller says he will send a courier to collect the card before a smartly dressed man or a courier arrives at the victim’s home. The card is then taken and the PIN number used to withdraw cash.
Trust manager, Shirley Simpson, said: “This is a terrible scam that preys on some of the most trusting people in our community.
“We hope that by helping the police get the message out to some of the elderly and vulnerable people we see, we can stop them from becoming victims of this appalling crime.”
DC Craig Doyle from Cambridgeshire Constabulary said: “We are please the Bobby Scheme can help us get this message out to those the fraudsters are targeting in the county.
“Genuine police officers and banks will never ask you to give your PIN or to withdraw cash over the phone and you should never do so. If you’re in doubt about anyone you are speaking to on the phone, hang up and listen for the tone before ringing back on an official number. You should never give any bank cards or cash to anyone at your door, even if they say they are from your bank.”
To report an incident of fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 1232040. To find more about Cambridgeshire’s Bobby Scheme go to www.thebobbyscheme.org