Police in Exmouth have warned residents to be vigilant following a national rise in scam phone calls where crooks pose as officers and bank bosses.
The cons see bogus officials attempt to convince victims to withdraw cash, purchase goods – sometimes in the form of vouchers – or provide bank cards and PIN numbers for collection by a courier.
Fraudsters will often ask their targets to call back on 999, 101 or 161 to verify that they are genuine, however, this is part of the deception.
The criminals keep the line open so that the victim continues to speak to them – believing they are genuine officials.
Inspector Antonia Weeks, of Exmouth Police, said: “It’s important to remember that police officers and bank officials will never ask you to withdraw money, purchase goods or hand over private banking details.
“Never give out your PIN to anyone, not even your bank.
“If you get an unexpected phone call from someone wanting to talk about money or finance. don’t be afraid just to hang up. You can contact your bank in person at another time.”
Residents can opt out of many cold calls by registering for free with the Telephone Preference Service on 0845 070 0707.
Fraud advice from Devon and Cornwall Police can be found here.