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West Norfolk residents urged to be vigilant after cold caller scam incident

Police news.
Police news.

Residents in West Norfolk are being urged to be vigilant to cold callers claiming to be police officers following an incident earlier this week.

Police have issued the warning after an elderly resident in Norfolk received a call on Tuesday from someone claiming to be ‘Detective Sergeant John Witmore’ based at a police station in London.

A spokesman said the cold caller asked for the victim’s help with an investigation and requested she withdrew a large sum of money before arranging to meet with officers.

“In this case, the suspected has defrauded the victim of €11,000 which is now being investigated by police,” he added.

Similar incidents have been reported throughout the county and it has been known that suspects request cash is posted or for residents to purchase high value good, and to then meet the people purporting to be officers to hand over the goods.

Investigating officer, Det Insp Chris Burgess of Norwich CID, urged for residents to be vigilant to this scam.

He said: “We’re urging members of the public, particularly the elderly who are primarily being targeted, to be vigilant to cold calls made on the telephone.

“Genuine police officers or staff would never approach residents and ask for cash withdrawals to be made or for people to purchase items on their behalf.

“I would ask people with vulnerable relatives, friends or neighbours to make sure they are aware of this type of scam.”

Officers have issued the following advice:

- Never give out personal information about your bank account to anybody over the phone

- If someone calls claiming to be a police officer, ask for their identification number and police force. Hang up and call 101 using a different phone. If you can’t use a different phone, wait at least five minutes before calling back. A genuine police officer will not mind waiting while you check.

- Police and banks will never ask you to give out personal details such as account numbers or PIN numbers.

- If you have given out information which could compromise your bank account security in any way, call your bank to cancel your cards as soon as possible.

- Never hand over money to someone at the door to be sent off elsewhere.

Anyone with concerns about such calls should contact Norfolk Police on the non-emergency number 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress.

Alternatively contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

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