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Police issue warning over telephone fraud

Police have warned members of the public about a telephone scam in which the offenders are pretending to be police officers and conning vulnerable people out of thousands of pounds.

The criminals are calling residents, some of whom are elderly and vulnerable, claiming to be police officers.

They then say that a relative has been arrested and the victim needs to come and pay their bail.

They will then attempt to get the victim to meet them at a cash machine to withdraw their bail money.

Leicestershire Police said 62 incidents had been reported relating to the callers claiming to be from the police and attempting to pull off this type of scam.

Nine of these attempts were successful which resulted in a total financial loss to the victims of more than £62,000.

The fraudster’s narrative can, however, change daily and as well as impersonating a police officer, other common organisations they imitate can include, a bank, HMRC and Action Fraud.

Paul Wenlock, head of the force's Economic Crime Unit, said: “This kind of crime preys on the best intentions of some of the most vulnerable people.

"We cannot emphasise enough that the police would never call you to come and pay someone’s bail.

"Neither would your bank ask for your bank details, nor would HMRC ring asking you for money.

“If you are unsure about the nature of a phone call, then ‘Take Five’.

"Call someone that you trust and ask them if they think the call sounds legitimate."

Police are also encouraging members of the public to tell two people in their lives about telephone fraud and how they can protect themselves.

"If they then pass this information on to another two people, we can begin to protect lots of people," he said.

For further information on telephone fraud and how to help protect yourself, go to the police, Age UK or, Take Five website.

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