People urged to be vigilant following fraud in Alton

By Surrey and Hants News in Crime

HAMPSHIRE Constabulary is warning people to be vigilant following three reports of fraud in Alton on July 27.

In each case the victim was phoned by someone claiming to be a police officer.

One victim was told police were investigating misuse of her credit card and was asked to withdraw money from her bank.

She was advised to call the police to clarify that it was a genuine investigation, but the male caller stayed on the line to confirm the fictitious officer’s name and to say that it was an ongoing investigation.

The victim then withdrew money from her bank and left it at an agreed location for it to be picked up. When she did not hear from the man again, she reported the incident to her bank, which called the police.

Police Community Support Officer Craig Graves said: “We would like to advise members of the public that police officers would never ask people to hand over money or financial details in this way.

“If you are contacted by anyone that you are not expecting, check that they are who they say they are and that the call is genuine. Find the correct number for the business or company yourself and call from a different phone, or wait 10 minutes before making the call, to ensure that the caller isn’t still connected.”

To protect yourself:

1) Never give personal details to anyone who contacts you unexpectedly.

2) Do not carry documents or bank cards unless you need them.

3) Always shred unwanted bills, bank statements and mail.

4) Keep personal documents in a secure place.

5) Report lost or stolen bank cards and personal documents immediately.

6) Check bank statements as soon as they arrive and always report any unusual activity.

7) Always keep your card in sight when paying at a shop or restaurant.

8) Do not respond to unsolicited phone calls or emails.

9) Never tell anyone your PIN.

10) Never give personal information or bank account details to anyone over the phone.

11) Never hand over your card, money or valuables to someone at the door to be sent off elsewhere.

If someone comes to your door claiming to be a police officer, always ask to see their identification.

Close the door and call 101 to check they are genuine. A real police officer will not mind waiting while you check.

To report fraud, or for more information, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit http://www.actionfraud.police.uk.