Wiltshire Police are urging people to be vigilant after a Wiltshire couple were defrauded by scammers posing as police officers.
The couple were contacted over the phone by a man who claimed to be a police officer investigating fraud.
He told them that someone had attempted to use their bank card fraudulently and even told them to dial 999 to speak to their local force.
But, he kept the line open, meaning the victims were still speaking to the fraudsters.
The victims then followed the instructions of the criminals, still believing they were police officers, and withdrew a large amount of cash, which was collected by someone pretending to be a courier.
Det Con Emma Wood, from Swindon CID, said this case showed how convincing and persuasive these types of fraudsters can be.
She said: “The victims in this case genuinely believed they were speaking to police officers and that they needed to cooperate with their requests or they could lose more money to fraudsters or even be arrested for perverting the course of justice.
“This is why it is so important that we remind people of the simple steps they can take to avoid being scammed in this way.
“Please remember, a police officer would never ask you to withdraw money and give it to them.
“They would also be able to meet you face-to-face and show you ID, and would be happy for you to verify their credentials by calling 101.
“If you receive a suspicious phone call then please hang up the phone and report it. Don’t feel worried about appearing rude, it is better to be safe than sorry.”
She added: “We would also like to urge people to speak to their friends and family members about these types of cases, particularly those who are elderly or vulnerable – we want to protect as many people as possible.”
Wiltshire Police's crime prevention advice includes:
- If you receive a call from anybody purporting to be from the police, bank, or any organisation you did not call, please take a telephone number and then put the phone down.
- Go and make a cup of tea or do something for five minutes (this stops any fraudster from keeping your phone line open) then call a trusted friend, relative or Wiltshire Police on 101 and tell them what has happened.
- Never transfer money or give the caller access to your banking details or cards. The bank or police would never ask you to do this.
Further details about courier fraud can be found on the Action Fraud website www.actionfraud.police.uk.