Telephone scammers continue to target residents in Leicestershire - here's how to spot them

Police are issuing the urgent new warning after being alerted by six victims in the county in the last week alone

Friday, 5th March 2021, 5:06 pm

People in Harborough are being warned to be extra-vigilant after telephone scammers have struck in Leicestershire.

Police are issuing the urgent new warning after being alerted by six victims in the county in the last week alone.

The people targeted have inadvertently handed over a total of £18,000 to the offenders.

People in Harborough are being warned to be extra-vigilant after telephone scammers have struck in Leicestershire.

Police say that many scam calls follow the below scenario:

· A cold call is made to a victim by someone claiming to work with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or national insurance and that information is required to be passed on to the police. The call is then ended

· The victim then receives a further call which is shown to be from 0116 222 2222 – which is the main switchboard number for Leicestershire Police. Please note this number is 'spoofed' - ie faked. Numbers shown on a caller ID are not confirmation or verification of where a call is coming from - the phone is merely displaying what it has been told to say

· A person claiming to be a police officer then speaks to the victim, stating the victim’s details are being used to open a large number of bank accounts. Threatening language may be use and victims have been told they are in trouble and could be arrested or taken to court

· The caller then provides a bank account number and asks the victim to transfer money over for ‘safe keeping’.

Nicole McIntyre, of Leicestershire Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “We will never contact you and ask you to transfer funds.

“Should you receive a call from the force phone number where someone asks you to send money, please hang up immediately.”

She added: “You can contact us on 101 should you need to clarify the information.

“Always leave more than 10 seconds between hanging up and dialling out to ensure the original call has terminated.

“Please pass this information on to any friends of family members who may not be aware of this scam or who could be particularly vulnerable to the way these criminals operate.

“If we work together we can try and prevent more people from falling victim.”

If you are a victim of this scam – or know someone who has been – please contact us on 101.

You can also report incidents online by visiting https://www.leics.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/You should also contact your bank immediately.

You can also make a report to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk