Detectives are issuing a warning to the public following reports of phone calls purporting to be from the police demanding money and gift cards from residents.
The scam calls use a spoofed phone number associated with Cheshire Constabulary.
Fraudsters are then telling victims that they are a police officer with Cheshire Constabulary and that they must hand over thousands of pounds to ‘clear their name’ for potential arrest and charges.
In some cases, scammers have even asked for gift cards to be purchased.
Detective Sergeant Chris Jacques, of the Economic Crime Unit, said: “Phone numbers can easily be manipulated and this is how the scammers can often catch us off guard.
“Fraudsters will come across as extremely convincing and will try their luck in targeting anyone just so they can benefit.
“No police force would call you and ask for money or gift cards in order to ‘clear your name’. If you do receive a phone call such as this, please do not be alarmed.
“Do not provide them with any information, hang up the phone and report it immediately to Cheshire Police via 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, David Keane said: “There are a lot of scams out there for various things and it is hard to know who or what to believe.
“These scammers will stop at nothing when trying to take money from the innocent and hard-working residents of Cheshire.
“Please follow the advice and ensure that your elderly and vulnerable relatives or neighbours are aware of this scam so they do not fall foul.”
- Always take a moment to think before parting with information or money when receiving messages as this as only criminals will rush or panic you
- Organisations such as the police will never use phone calls to tell you about a penalty or ask for payment
- Telephone numbers and text messages can easily be spoofed. You should never trust the number you see on your telephones display.
- If you receive a suspicious cold call, end it immediately.
If you think you have fallen for a scam report it to Cheshire Constabulary on 101. Alternatively, you can contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via the Action Fraud website.