Police reissue Herts phone scam warning as cruel cons spike to 104 in less than three weeks

Police are urging residents not to give out personal banking information and never to hand over bank cards
Police are urging residents not to give out personal banking information and never to hand over bank cards

A special task force has been set up to combat a telephone fraud scam affecting vulnerable people across Herts, as the total number of cruel cons reaches to more than 100 in March alone.

Police are reissuing a warning to the public about the scams, which have resulted in several victims handing over cash, cards and personal information to tricksters impersonating officers.

Since the beginning of this month there have been 104 reported incidents of this type of scam in the county, including one in Hemel Hempstead on March 6, and another in Tring two days later.

In both Dacorum incidents the targeted people realised it was a scam and were vigilant against giving away any of their details.

Most of the cases involve an offender posing as a police officer or bank official investigating fraud offences, and the majority of their victims are elderly or vulnerable.

One arrest in connection with the scam has been made in Broxbourne. The sudden spike in crimes has prompted the eastern region’s Special Operations Unit to set up a task force dedicated to investigating this type of fraud.

Det Insp Jason Keane said: “Although these numbers seem very high, this may be caused by increasing numbers of people reporting incidents as more people become aware of the scam and they are alerting us when they are being targeted.

“We are continuing our robust approach in dealing with those who participate in phone scams, particularly when they target the vulnerable and elderly members of our community. Arrests are continuing to be made in connection with these types of scams, but people still need to be aware.”

Police are urging anyone who receives a suspicious call to dial the non-emergency number 101 using a mobile phone, or to wait until you hear the dialling tone before calling from a landline as the other caller may not have cleared the line.

The force is also reminding people that police officers and banks would never ask anyone to reveal bank account details or pin numbers, withdraw cash or hand over any possessions to a courier.

More information and advice about the scam can be found by clicking here.