In recent weeks, a number of incidents have been reported from members of the public notifying officers that they have been contacted by a someone who claims to be from either South Yorkshire Police or an official government agency, advising them that their national insurance number has been compromised and used in relation to illegal activities.
The caller then advises that a ‘police officer’ will further contact them to discuss the matter.
In the incidents reported so far, the ‘police officer’ has called the victim a short time later and asked for their bank details and information on the balance available in their accounts. The ‘police officer’ does appear to know certain details about the victims they are calling, such as old addresses.
The victims are then told that they must withdraw the cash from their account, put it in a crypto currency machine, or that a government backed account will be set up for them to transfer their funds into.
PC Angela Senior from the force's fraud co-ordination team, said: "These calls are not genuine. Please be vigilant and remember that no matter how sincere or official the caller seems, our police officers or official government agencies will never ask you to reveal your bank details or personal information on a call like this.
“We know that thankfully, many people will treat calls like this with suspicion - but it's still vitally important that everyone spreads the word about scams like this, and makes sure their loved ones know how to spot the signs and keep themselves safe.
“Elderly and vulnerable relatives and neighbours could be particularly susceptible to falling victim to these types of scams, so please pass this information along to them.”
If you receive a call claiming to be from a ‘police officer’ and you are unsure if it is genuine, hang up the phone and call 101 from a different phone to double check.
If you think you have been a victim of this scam, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or go online to actionfraud.police.uk.