Man arrested after ‘posing as a police officer’ in Watford

A man has been arrested following an attempted fraud on a victim from Watford.

The fraudster was posing as a police officer calling people saying that he was investigating criminal activity on the victim’s bank account.

The man then asked them to withdraw £2,000 and pass it to a courier.

The victim went to their bank to make the withdrawal but the bank realised the withdrawal was unusual and alerted the police.

Officers attended and spoke to the victim and with their cooperation were able to lure the courier to the victim’s address. When confronted by the officers the courier made off but was arrested shortly afterwards in the Weall Green area of Watford.

A 32 year old man from South East London was arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation. He has been released whilst the investigation continues.

Detective Inspector Rob Burns, from the Serious Fraud and Cyber Unit, said: “This was a great piece of partnership working between police and banking staff and the quick response of the bank staff undoubtedly saved the victim losing thousands of pounds.

“It’s vital to remember that police officers or bank staff would never ask you to withdraw cash or ask for people’s bank details, like a PIN. You should never give your bank details to anyone. Usually the intended victim realises the call is not genuine and refuses to part with their personal and bank details. However, these fraudsters can be very persuasive and insistent, which has resulted in some people falling victim to this scam and subsequently losing thousands of pounds from their accounts.”

Watford Police also noted on their website: “If you receive a call you’re not expecting, you should be suspicious. The vital things to remember are that your bank and the police would:

  • NEVER ask for your bank account details or PIN number over the phone, so do not disclose these to anyone, no matter who they claim to be.
  • NEVER ask you to withdraw money and send it to them via a courier, taxi or by any other means.
  • NEVER ask you to send your bank cards, or any other personal property, to them via courier, taxi or by any other means.

“If you are not happy with a phone call and are suspicious of the conversation you have with the caller then please end the call and dial 101 or report online herts.police.uk/Report/Report

“Remember, when reporting a suspicious phone call to police, wait at least five minutes before attempting to make the call to ensure you’re not reconnected to the offender.”

“Alternatively, use a mobile phone or a neighbour’s phone or test your landline by phoning a friend or relative first, to ensure you aren’t still unwittingly connected to the offender.

“If you have concerns about your bank account, visit your local branch.

“Remember to follow the above advice. In addition to this, some phone companies offer call screening services that can be effective in blocking marketing cold calls and bogus callers. Contact your phone company and ask about call screening and caller display services.

For more information on scams visit Watford police scam police and bank callers page where you can also watch a video provided by Action Fraud and entitled, “The Devil’s in Your Details”.

(Source: Herts Police)