We are asking Portsmouth residents to be aware of scam callers posing as police officers to defraud people out of thousands of pounds, following three reports today (Friday 10 August) of such incidents.
The first report was made to police shortly after 11am this morning by Barclays on Osborne Road, Southsea. A woman in her 90s from Southsea received a call from a man purporting to be a police officer who told her to withdraw £5,000, and to tell bank staff she needed it for a new carpet.
Shortly before 1pm today, we received another call from Lloyds on London Road. A woman in her 70s from Portsmouth was called by a man purporting to be an officer from London, who told her to withdraw £3,600.
A third call was made to police at 1.39pm by a woman in her 70s from Baffins. She had received a similar call from a man pretending to be a police officer, but she realised it was a scam and hung up.
Fortunately, in each case, the victims did not part with any money and we commend the banking staff who intervened and called the police.
We have issued advice about these scams in the past, where a person purporting to be a police officer calls your home and asks you to withdraw money, often to “help with an investigation”.
However these fraudsters continue to target people in Hampshire and across the country.
Although anyone can fall for a scam, some people are more vulnerable. Often older or elderly people are targeted.
If you are a carer, relative, friend or neighbour of someone who is vulnerable, you might be the only person who can stop them from being scammed. Talk to them and make sure they know what to look out for when it comes to scams.
Just remember, police officers, banks, or any other authority figure will not call you and ask you for your bank details, personal, or financial information.
You can make yourself aware of this type of scam and how to protect yourself against them by visiting the Action Fraud website: www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
If you or someone you know falls victim to this type of offence, please report it immediately to police on 101, or 999 if a crime is in progress.