“What a horrible lot of people scammers are”

Posted by: Belinda Hargreaves

Fri 16th February 2024

A Derbyshire resident is joining police in helping to raise awareness of scammers after she fell victim to a fraudster who said he was from her bank.
Derbyshire Police are, this week, urging residents across the county to stay vigilant against scammers pretending to be police officers after a number of calls have been reported.
A spokesman for Derbyshire Police said: “Several people in Chesterfield, Derby and Ripley have reported receiving a call out of the blue from someone claiming to be a police officer who said they were contacting them about fraudulent activity on their accounts.
“Scams like these will rely on the victim cooperating by giving details, bank cards or cash to the ‘officer’ or a courier.
“Fortunately, in each of these cases details were not provided and the victim called us before providing any details or attending the meeting.”
PC Louise Rodger, one of our fraud protect officers, continued: “Please share this message with your friends and family members, especially older or vulnerable relatives.
“Talk to them about our crime prevention advice – Stop! Think! Tell! By remembering to do this, they can protect themselves against scams.”

The Spirit of Alfreton has spoken to a Derbyshire resident who has been affected by a similar scam experience.
The elderly lady, who wished not to be named, was called by, who she was told, was a representative of her bank calling her about possible fraudulent activity happening on her account.
Through a number of telephone calls, the scammer coerced the resident into giving certain details which allowed the scammer to take money from the resident’s account, and also gain a loan through her bank account.
Fortunately, the elderly lady contacted her bank direct, to ask for an update on being able to get money out of her account once more, and was then informed, in time to get her money back and the loan to be stopped, that the person she had entrusted to help her against such fraudsters, was indeed a fraudster themselves.
The resident told the Spirit of Alfreton: “What a horrible lot of people they (the scammers) are. Why can’t they go out and earn an honest wage?
“They are so artful and coercive.
“I feel like I have had an invasion of privacy in my home, and I also feel very stupid for letting myself be coerced in this way.”
The resident continued: “It’s not just about the act of fraud with these scammers, it’s also terrible that they leave their victims destitute with no means of getting any cash as banks have to freeze accounts once such scams are revealed, and it takes time for new cards and codes etc to come through.
“Luckily I have family members who have been helping me out with cash etc, but I do feel for people who have not got such family around – what the hell do they do?”
Following on from her visit to her bank, Derbyshire Police contacted the resident to visit her about the matter. Due to now being extra vigilant after being scammed, the resident, along with family members, have carried out thorough checks to ensure the police officer who has now visited her, was indeed who he said he was.

Derbyshire Police have been raising awareness of scams through their ‘Stop! Think! Tell!’ message during their Sock it to the Scammers campaign, which features a bright pink sock puppet called Claude.
If you haven’t yet seen Claude, you can find out more about the force’s campaign here here
The police spokesman said of the police impersonation scam: “We’ve also issued the following advice for people to help them avoid becoming a victim of a police impersonation scam:
· Police officers will never call you out of the blue and request cash or personal information. They’ll never ask you to transfer money to another account, hand over cash or bank cards to a courier, or a pay a fine or fee over the phone. If someone asks you to do this, it’s a scam.
· If an officer contacts you in person, they will show you their warrant card. This is proof of their identify and authority.
· If someone has called you and you are unsure if they are a genuine police officer, you can hang up and call police on 101 to check their identity.
· It’s recommended you wait at least five minutes and make sure you can hear a dialling tone before you call, as there have been cases of fraudsters keeping the line open after a victim has hung up.
You can find further information on how to check an officer’s identify here
The Derbyshire Police spokesman continued: “If you think you’ve been approached or contacted by a scammer, you can report it by contacting us on the details below, or to Action Fraud, the national reporting centre, online at www.actionfraud.police.uk or on 0300 123 2040.
“To contact Derbyshire Police, go to our website, our Facebook or Twitter pages, or call 101.
“You can also anonymously contact the independent charity CrimeStoppers, on 0800 555 111, or by visiting the CrimeStoppers website at here

Have you been a victim of a scam, or almost, and would like to raise awareness by sharing your experience – even if anonymously – with the Spirit of Alfreton? Email our Editor Belinda at editor@spiritof.uk