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Police warn of fake-officers phone scam

There has been increase in scam phone calls in the area
There has been increase in scam phone calls in the area

RESIDENTS are being warned about a number of scams operating in the New Forest and across Hampshire.

Local police say there has been a recent “significant increase” in attempted fraud in the New Milton area, with incidents involving offenders phoning elderly people and claiming to be from the constabulary.

It usually involves victims being told a person in custody has copies of their bank cards and ‘officers’ need their help with the investigation.

“Please note your bank, the police or other organisations will never call you in this way, they will never ask you to move your money,” a police Facebook post said.

“Never give out personal information, and if in doubt hang up and call 101 from a different phone.”

People are also advised to call a friend or relative first to ensure they know they can dial out safely as fraudsters can stay on the line.

Last Tuesday at around 9am an Everton resident reported a suspicious man who had asked to read their smart meter. They called their energy supplier who confirmed the man was not one of their workers.

Another police post called on residents to always check ID when allowing people into their homes.

The force is also providing countywide guidance to the public to protect themselves from investment fraud following a spike in cases during the pandemic.

Between September 2019 and September this year, Hampshire residents reported 396 of the offences – a 5% increase (377 reports) on the previous reporting year.

There were losses of around £10.3m to local residents – up 24% from the previous year – and nearly a fifth (18%) of victims were aged between 70 and 79.

Those who think they have been a victim of investment fraud should report it to Action Fraud online at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

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