Warning after fraudsters impersonate police officers
Police are warning residents to be aware that there have been a number of cases recently in which people have handed over cash to fraudsters.
Lincolnshire Police say fraudsters are impersonating police officers in the county and telling their victims, mainly elderly and vulnerable people, to buy high value goods or withdraw large amounts of cash which they should hand over to a police officer who will visit their address later. The fraudsters say the goods or the money are counterfeit items or that their bank account has been compromised and they need to transfer the money to a safe account or withdraw it for collection by a police officer.
Cases are also being reported of calls being made by bogus police officers who tell their intended victims they are under investigation and need to transfer or withdraw money from their account.
Also police are warning people to be aware that bogus calls are being made by fraudsters pretending to be from a Safety Advisory Group, telling their victims that they are owed money by their bank but need to make a payment to receive it.
A police spokesman said: "We are asking people to make their elderly family members aware of these fraud methods and to raise as much awareness as possible. If you would like to report anything of this nature to authorities, please call us on 101 or report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040."
In December several cases of police impersonation were reported in the Grantham area. In at least one case, money was withdrawn but was not handed over.
Nick Bates, of Preventing Financial Fraud and an Op Revive Coordinator with Lincolnshire Police, said: “We are doing all we can to raise awareness about this type of fraud because it’s one of the most distressing for victims because, by its very nature, it targets people who are vulnerable.
“Police will never ask you to ever buy anything or hand over cash to an officer so if you are asked to do that you are likely to be talking to a criminal. Please do not do as they ask and report that to us immediately.
“If you have any friends or family who are elderly or vulnerable please pass this message on to them to make them aware.”