West Norfolk Council issues phone scam warning

Views of King's Lynn''The view of Chapel Street with the Junction of Austin Street King's Lynn''The King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council Office is the building on the left, with the Lattice House Pub further down on the right. ENGANL00120130322090456
Views of King's Lynn''The view of Chapel Street with the Junction of Austin Street King's Lynn''The King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council Office is the building on the left, with the Lattice House Pub further down on the right. ENGANL00120130322090456

West Norfolk Council officials have this morning urged residents to be vigilant following reports of a new phone scam by people claiming to be council staff.

The authority posted on its Twitter feed earlier this morning that it was investigating “bogus calls” which the callers claimed they were making on the council’s behalf.

In the new scam, the caller claims to be “investigating an accident” on the council’s behalf and seeks personal details from residents.

Resident Jack Morton contacted the Lynn News yesterday to say he had been targeted by one of the calls, but that the caller had hung up when he questioned him about landmarks in Lynn.

Mr Morton, from Magdalen, said: “My concern is that they are going through local phone numbers and I want to make people aware of what they are doing.”

Lorraine Gore, the council’s chief financial officer, said: “The rise in the number of scam callers is worrying and they are becoming ever more creative in their attempts to get personal information from their victims.

“This particular scam has evolved to show our number on the caller ID and in some cases it would appear that the perpetrators have also acquired medical details which they use to try to make the call seem authentic.”

“Our number usually appears as withheld, so if it appears on the caller ID or via 1471 missed call facility, please be very wary.

“We would like to reassure people that we would not call to ask for personal details and that if anyone wants to check if a call from the council is bonafide, they should ask the caller for their name and department and then contact the Customer Information Centre on 01553 616200 and ask to speak with them, as this will confirm their identity.”

Scams can also be reported to the police or the dedicated Action Fraud helpline on 0300 1232040.