All reported being contacted by somebody claiming to be a police officer who persuaded them to give up their bank cards to help support a bogus investigation, losing a total of £5,490 between them.
DC James Dolby of the Serious Economic Crime Unit said: ‘It is important to remember that a police officer will never ask you to pay money over the phone, threaten you with arrest for not paying or ask you to give them your banking details or credit cards.
‘Never give out your personal information in response to an incoming call, or rely upon the caller ID as the sole means of identification – particularly if the caller is asking you to do something that will affect you financially.
‘If somebody rings you asking for this information, do not give it to them. Instead, hang up the phone and call a trusted number from a different phone or wait at least five minutes to ensure the line has cleared and you are not still talking to the same fraudster or an accomplice.
‘Contact your bank immediately if you think you may have been scammed and also report the incident to Action Fraud.
‘Remember the ABC rule to help protect yourself and others against fraud – never Assume someone is telling the truth, never Believe what they say unless you are confident they are who they say they are, and always Confirm the details they have provided.’