STAFFORDSHIRE Police have issued a warning about fraudsters posing as police officers.
People have been conned into parting with large sums of cash after the caller has claimed to be a police officer involved in an undercover operation.
The caller says they are investigating a fraud at a local bank branch, where staff are suspected of being complicit, including issuing fake bank notes.
The victim is asked to visit their bank and withdraw a large sum, often thousands of pounds, of the supposedly counterfeit cash to hand over to the ‘police’ for analysis.
The victim is assured that the money will be put back into their account after the operation is complete, but once the money is passed over the fraudster disappears with the cash.
Seventeen offences have been reported to the police with two losses totalling approximately £20,000.
Detective Inspector Rob Harvmann, of the force’s Fraud and Financial Investigation Unit said: “Fraudsters will use whatever way they can to get people to believe in them. Impersonating a bank official or a police officer reinforces that belief.
“It’s important to remember neither the bank nor the police will cold call you asking you to act on their behalf. Be vigilant, do not engage in conversation, put the phone down and tell someone you trust. If you have been a victim of such a fraud and you have handed money to someone, please contact 101 or Action Fraud.”