Leicestershire Police issue warning of new cold-calling scam

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 7 March 2021

LEICESTERSHIRE POLICE have warned residents in Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland to ‘remain vigilant’ and be wary of a scam telephone call that is currently doing the rounds.

Photograph: Scam phone call list (Unsplash)

Six reports regarding the spam call have been reported to Leicestershire Police through the past week, which has sadly seen a whopping total of £18,000 erroneously handed over to scammers from those targeted.

From the different reports received about the cold-calls so far, the following information has been made public about what the scammers do once on the phone:

  • The cold-caller will claim to be calling with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HRMC), or National Insurance, claiming that the information is needed ‘to be passed on to the Police’.
  • Victims receive a further call from a spoofed number which is ‘shown to be from’ Leicestershire Police’s main switchboard number of 0116 222 2222 – the number has been fake, as the Caller ID screen is not verification or confirmation of the number, but will display what it has been told to
  • The caller, claiming to be a police officer, tells the victim that ‘their details have been used to open a large number of bank accounts’ – threatening language is sometimes used, and victims are told they ‘are in trouble’, and ‘may even be arrested or taken to court’.
  • The caller provides a bank number and asks the victim to transfer over their money for ‘safe keeping’

Nicole McIntyre of Leicestershire Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “We will never contact you and ask you to transfer funds.

“Should you receive a call from the force phone number where someone asks you to send money, please hang up immediately.

“You can contact us on 101 should you need to clarify the information. Always leave more than ten seconds between hanging up and dialling out to ensure the original call has terminated.

“Please pass this information on to any friends of family members who may not be aware of this scam or who could be particularly vulnerable to the way these criminals operate. If we work together, we can try and prevent more people from falling victim.”

If you have personally been targeted by the scam or know somebody who has been, this can be reported on the Police’s non-emergency number of 101.

Incidents can be reported online here through the Leicestershire Police website.

Those affected by the cold-call should contact their bank immediately to let them know they were affected and have sent their money over.

A report can be made to Action Fraud only, by simply visiting their website here.

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