In a concerning development, several elderly residents of Pinner have fallen prey to a phone scam in which fraudsters impersonate police officers.
The scam, which involves fraudsters falsely claiming that a relative has been arrested in possession of the victim’s bank cards, has raised alarm bells in the community.
Pinner PCSO Lee O’Brien from the Pinner Safer Neighbourhood Team alerted residents to the scam via a post on the official website of the OWL (Online Watch Link) network.
According to the post, the fraudsters employ a manipulative tactic by asking victims to provide personal information to aid their supposed investigation. To establish their credibility, the scammers instruct victims to dial the emergency 999 number and provide a specific name and shoulder number. Additionally, the fraudsters claim to be calling from various police stations, such as Chelmsford or Charing Cross, in an attempt to sound convincing. Disturbingly, they have even claimed to be calling from Pinner police station in the past.
PCSO O’Brien’s message serves as a crucial reminder that genuine police officers would never ask individuals to dial the emergency 999 number to verify their identity. Instead, if someone unexpectedly contacts residents and they wish to confirm the officer’s details, it is advised to call the non-emergency 101 number.
To provide further assistance in protecting residents, PCSO O’Brien recommends reading pages 22-24 of the ‘Little Book of Big Scams‘, an attached resource containing information on fraudster techniques and self-protection measures.
Fortunately, all residents who encountered these scam attempts demonstrated vigilance and did not fall victim to the fraudsters’ ploy. However, anyone who has been scammed, defrauded, or experienced cybercrime is urged to report the incident directly to Action Fraud. They can be reached by telephone at 0300 123 2040 or through their website here.
The Pinner Safer Neighbourhood Team and local authorities are actively working to raise awareness about this phone scam, urging residents to be cautious and spread the word to protect vulnerable community members.
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