Kirklees Residents Warned Scammers Pretending To Be Undercover Police Officers
Friday August 4, 2023
Police are advising Kirklees residents to be vigilant following reports of scammers pretending to be police officers to try and extort money.
The West Yorkshire Police Economic Crime Unit is investigating two offences in the Kirklees Rural area in July which suspects have phoned victims and tried to persuade them to hand over cash, by saying it is for a police investigation.
Officers have advised that police will never ask a victim of crime for their bank details and never ask anyone to withdraw cash.
As part of the ‘courier fraud’ a suspect phoned victims purporting to be a police officer and said their bank details had been gathered by criminals.
Victims were then persuaded to co-operate with an ‘operation’ designed to gather evidence or identify offenders responsible for a fictional offence.
In order to make the scam convincing, victims were provided with fake police badge numbers and police crime numbers by the scammers
They also asked the victim to put the handset of their landline phone down, and then pick it back up and call 999, to make the victim believe they are speaking with the police.
The suspects remained on the line however, so when the victim called 999, they were actually still on the call to the suspect.
In both scams suspects attended in plain clothes to take money from victims, advising they were undercover officers.
One was described as in his 20’s, 5'6'' tall and slim with afro hair which was short on top shorter on the sides.
He was wearing black jacket with collar with a red and white lanyard, dark trainers and black tracksuit bottoms.
DS Paul Hutchinson of the force’s Police Economic Crime Unit, said: “We are investigating two recent offences of this kind from the Kirklees Rural area targeting elderly residents, and want to make residents aware of what is a complex and convincing scam.
“These courier fraud offences are being investigated as a priority and we are doing everything we can to identify and arrest suspects and support victims and witnesses.
He added: “I want to stress that officers will never call anyone asking them to either withdraw cash from their bank or buy any valuable items so they can look after them for the victims. We will never ask you to verify your personal details or your PIN, send a courier to collect your cash, bank cards or any other valuable goods or ask you to lie to your bank.
“If anyone receives any calls from individuals purporting to be a police officer, or bank official and they are unsure if the callers are genuine, we advise them to end the call.
“Put the receiver down and wait for several minutes. Then pick the receiver up and ensure you can hear a dialling tone before dialling 101 for the police or contacting their bank. Or preferably call back from a different telephone.
“Anyone who has been a victim of one of these frauds or who can assist enquiries is asked to contact the Economic Crime Unit on 101 or online at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/101livechat referencing crime number 13230421915.”