Residents in Bedfordshire are being urged to speak to elderly relatives and friends about the dangers of impersonation fraud.
Bedfordshire Police are throwing their weight behind a national campaign to encourage the elderly to spot the signs.
Called courier fraud, it often starts with a cold call where the fraudster claims to be a police officer or a bank official.
They will say there’s an issue with the victim’s bank account or request their assistance with an ongoing bank or police investigation. The ultimate aim is to trick the victim into handing over money or bank details.
Common techniques used by the fraudsters include telling the victim to withdraw large sums of cash, buy an expensive item, or provide their bank cards/details.
The victim is promised a reimbursement, but after the cash or items are taken, the contact ends.
As part of the campaign, people are being urged to hang up the phone to the scammer and call Action Fraud from another phone if they believe they are being conned.
This is because scammers often have a way to stay on the line and pretend to be the police when you call back.
If you don’t have access to a different phone line, wait for a period of time and try calling a family member or friend first to make sure the scammer is no longer on the line.
You can reach Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.