Police are warning people in South Tyneside not to give their bank details over the phone.
There have been a number of reports of a phishing scam in the North East, where fraudsters are contacting people at home and asking them to transfer large amounts of money from their own bank accounts to an additional account for safe keeping.
We want to make it clear that anyone who calls claiming to be from a bank and asking people for bank details, or to make a transfer or such a request, is clearly a fraudster.Chief Inspector Neil Robson
Chief Inspector Neil Robson is also encouraging neighbours, family members, friends and carers to look after their older loved ones and report any suspicious calls or incidents to police.
He said: “A bank would never contact a member of the public in this way and ask them to transfer cash.
“We want to make it clear that anyone who calls claiming to be from a bank and asking people for bank details, or to make a transfer or such a request, is clearly a fraudster.
“Anyone who receives such a call should put the phone down and contact the police straightaway, preferably using another phone.”
“Conmen are using a number of ways to try and scam money out of people and are particularly focusing on the elderly and vulnerable.
“This is a scam affecting residents on a national level and involves fraudsters intercepting phone lines, holding open lines and posing as bank authorities to con residents out of money.”
Police are issuing key tips for staying safe against bogus callers:
n Always be on your guard, if you receive a cold call and are asked for personal or financial information. The bank or the police will never tell you to take such actions.
n Fraudsters may ask consumers to hang up and phone back, in a bid to win confidence, but this is a trick where the receiver is not put down at their end, leaving the line open.
n If suspicious, wait a full five minutes before attempting to make a call.
n Never give out your four-digit PIN over the phone, even if you believe you are talking to a genuine police officer or bank personnel.
Anyone with information or who may have concerns about bogus callers is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191 quoting reference Op Strongbow.