Lincolnshire Police issues warning on telephone fraud

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Lincolnshire Police has sent out a reminder to the public to cover themselves against the perils of telephone fraud.

Though not an overly common issue in Lincolnshire, police are keen to prevent the crime being carried out at all, offering tips on how to spot a criminal in action.

Scams will often be disguised as staff from your bank, or possibly members of the local police force, requesting either bank details or the transfer of money. It could be claimed that the staff in the bank are under suspicion and so are assisting a police investigation.

Then, the caller might ask you to call a known or trusted source to discuss the issue further. However, whilst you do this, they will not actually hang up the phone, leaving the line open. This means that when you contact the next person to query the request, they can then pose as that person, reassuring you that the first call was genuine and allowing them to then retrieve your financial information.

The easiest way to spot this problem is via the fact that when you make that second call no dialing tone will play.

When criminals carry out this sort of crime, it is thought that they can imitate phone numbers on to your caller ID. This is often done to gain a victim’s trust and the fraudster will often draw heavy attention to it.

It is advised that if you experience any of these odd behaviours, as well as requests for bank account details, or passwords then you should hang up the phone immediately and contact your bank.

This should be done either in person or over the phone. If you choose to do so over the phone, then you should wait a few minutes before calling to ensure that the criminal is not still on the line.

Speaking on the issue, detective sergeant Ian Jarman, of the Lincolnshire Police Economic Crime Unit, said: “Such frauds are rare in Lincolnshire, however many of the victims of this type of crime are elderly or vulnerable and it can be very distressing for them.

“If you are at all suspicious about such a caller, report it either to your bank or the police.”

If you are a victim of such a crime, then you should report it to the police via Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk

The British Banking Association advises that a bank will never:

*Ask for your full PIN number or any online banking passwords over the phone or via email

*Send someone to your home to collect cash, bank cards or anything else

*Ask you to email or text personal banking information

*Send an email with a link to a page which asks you to enter your online banking login details

*Ask you to authorise the transfer of funds to a new account or hand over cash

*Call to advise you to buy foreign currency, jewellery, or any other commodities

*Ask you to carry out a test transaction online

*Provide banking services through any mobile apps other than the bank’s official apps.