TWO elderly men from Basingstoke were scammed by a fraudster claiming to be a police officer.

The victims received calls on March 5 from a man claiming to be from the Metropolitan Police.

They were told that someone was in custody for cloning their bank cards and were asked for personal details, before being told to hang up the phone and call their bank.

When the victims picked up the phone to call the bank, using the number on the rear of their bank card, the original caller had not hung up the phone and therefore stayed on the line.

It was the offender who the victims then spoke to, not the bank.

Both victims became suspicious and reported the incidents to the police and no money was stolen.

However, police are warning Basingstoke residents to be vigilant following the scam.

In previous incidents, victims have continued to speak with the fraudster and are told to withdraw large sums of money from their account to be collected by a courier, or they are told to hand over their bank card to the courier, resulting in large sums of cash being lost as a result.

Elderly and vulnerable people are often targeted.

PC Christian Lavin said: “We want to warn residents that these requests are not genuine and that no police officer or bank would operate in this manner. Anyone who receives a suspicious call is urged not to give any details to the caller and report the matter to the police immediately.

“Any courier companies or taxi drivers that may have been asked to pick up such packages in the area are also urged to report this to police.

“If you have elderly relatives, friends or neighbours please make them aware of this scam and remind them not to give any details to unexpected callers. Remain alert and if you see them being approached by unexpected visitors please check who they are and ensure they are a legitimate caller.”

People are reminded to protect themselves using the following advice:

  • Never give out any personal information about your bank account to anybody over the phone.
  • If someone calls claiming to be a police officer, ask for their identification number and police force. Hang up the call and advise that you will call them back using the 101 number. A genuine police officer will not mind waiting while you check. Call them back from a different phone if possible or wait at least 10 minutes before making the call.
  • If you have given out information which could compromise your bank account security in any way, call your bank up to cancel your cards as soon as possible.
  • Never hand over money to someone at the door to be sent off elsewhere.
  • If someone comes to your door claiming to be a police officer or staff member, always ask for identification and make a note of their identification number. Ask them to wait while you verify their identity. Close the door and call 101.

Anyone who is concerned about similar incidents should contact police by calling 101. If a crime is in progress, call 999.