Police are warning of a telephone scam that has been reported to the Nottinghamshire control room this week.
Two people have separately reported that elderly relatives have been telephoned by a man claiming to be a police officer. During the call, the victim is told that criminals are looking to steal money from their bank account.
They are then told that a special “safe account” has been set up for them and are advised to transfer their cash to that account as soon as possible.
In one instance, the victim was told not to reveal to his bank why he was transferring the money, as a bank clerk was “under surveillance.”
Another victim was told that she would jeopardise covert police work if she told her bank why she was requesting the transfer.
The caller managed to persuade these victims to transfer cash to a so-called “safe account”.
A spokesperson for Nottinghamshire Police said: “This is a despicable ploy to steal money from vulnerable and trusting people, and it is causing significant distress to them and their families.
“The caller appears to have information about his victims before he makes contact to make his request seem more plausible. He has also asked them to dial 101, which is the single non-emergency number for all police forces, on the pretext that it will verify that he is a police officer. In fact, he remains on the line while they dial and the call is never actually disconnected.
“A genuine police officer would never ask someone to transfer money or to switch bank accounts. This is quite clearly a scam and our advice is simple. Should you receive a call of this nature, make it clear that you will be contacting your local police force control room to verify the caller’s identity.
“Once you are sure the caller has cleared and you can hear the dialling tone, dial 101. You will get an automated message telling you that you are being put through to the police.
“You should never transfer money on the strength of a single phone call from someone whose identity cannot be confirmed. Nor should you disclose any other details about bank accounts, such as PIN numbers or passwords.
“If you have already received such a call, please telephone the police and inform your bank immediately.”