Recently, we have been made aware of a number of scams taking place in Derbyshire, that residents have been receiving phone calls where the caller ID has been displaying an old force phone number. These types of scams are known as number spoofing.
The number reported to us in question, is an old non-emergency contact number (03451233333). Officers or members of police staff will not contact people from this number and we urge anybody who receives a call from it to report it immediately.
Fraudsters are using software to imitate organisations phone numbers, such as your bank, credit card companies or even the police, in an attempt to try and convince unsuspecting victims into transferring funds or providing personal or financial details to these scam artists.
How to protect yourself
If you have any doubt about the person calling you, terminate the call immediately. If you need to call the organisation in question to check if the call is official, wait five minutes after the initial scam call; fraudsters may stay on the line after you hang up. Alternatively, use a different line altogether to call them back on. Ensure you don’t ring back on any number they have provided to you initially, look up the correct contact details on the company’s website or via a statement if from the bank.
Never give out personal information in response to an incoming call, or rely upon the Caller ID as the sole means of identification, particularly, if the caller asks you to carry out an action which might have financial consequences.
Ask the caller for their name and a way to verify they are an employee of the organisation they are calling from – if they are claiming to be from the police, ask them for their collar number. Any employee of a legitimate company will willingly provide these details. If the caller refuses or becomes confrontational be suspicious.
If the caller is asking you to pay a fine, transfer money or verify personal information end the call immediately.
Do not be pressured. Fraudsters will create a feeling of crisis, however, take your time to assess the situation and do your research if necessary.