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Police are urging residents to be vigilant following a number of telephone scams across the county yesterday (Tuesday 17 May).

Officers received two separate reports from elderly residents living in the Norwich and Downham Market area, claiming to have been contacted by fraudsters purporting to be police officers. During the calls they were encouraged to withdraw large amounts of money from their bank.

The incidents happened in:

  • Norwich at approximately 10.15am. £1890 was transferred.
  • Downham Market at approximately 5pm. No details or money was transferred

Courier Fraud happens when a fraudster contacts a victim by telephone claiming to be a police officer, bank or from a government department, among other agencies. A number of techniques will then be adopted in order to convince the victim to hand over their bank details or cash, which may then be passed on to a courier.

Residents are reminded that your bank or the police will NEVER ask you to withdraw money or purchase items.

Further advice includes:

  • Your bank or the police will NEVER ask for your PIN, bank card or bank account details over the phone – never give these details to anybody.
  • Neither the police nor the banks will send a courier to collect money from you.
  • Always request Photo ID and if unsure call the police.
  • If you’re asked to telephone a bank, then always do it on a different phone to the one you were contacted on.
  • Fraudsters will keep the line open and have been known to play ringtones, hold music and a recorded message down the phone so the victim believes they are making a call to a legitimate number. Ensure you can hear a dialling tone before calling police or use a friend or neighbour’s telephone instead.

Norfolk Police are currently supporting a nationwide Courier Fraud campaign, which launched on Monday (16 May) and runs until Friday (20 May). As part of the initiative, a number of fraud crime prevention messages will be posted on the Norfolk Police social media accounts.

Officers are keen for residents to share these messages with members of their local community and also to ensure they contact family and friends, particularly elderly relatives to ensure they are aware of these scams and the warning signs.

If anyone has received a similar type of telephone call or has any information about these incidents. Contact Norfolk Police on 101 quoting Operation Radium.

Alternatively, Contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111.

For further advice, head to the Action Fraud website: www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040.

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