The reporting service is asking members of the public to be vigilant as individuals are pretending to be police officers and traffic wardens and targeting members of the public.
Action Fraud the reporting service, has received an increase number of reports of fraudsters claiming to be police officers or traffic wardens. The service says that most of the people being targeted are elderly and vulnerable.
Action Fraud say they have received 33 reports since January 2019 of victims being targeted by fraudsters pretending to be police officers and traffic wardens.
Victims are being approached while in the car park and told that they have parked illegally or broken a speed limit and that they have a photo as evidence against them. They are then told to cough up money there and then or they will face a huge penalty fine. Victims, who opt for paying the smaller penalty, will be directed to a parking metre and asked to enter their card and PIN number. The cards are then retained by the machine and the fraudsters look over the victim’s shoulder to get their PIN number.
Protection advice from Action Fraud
- If you are suspicious about the authenticity of the fine, do not pay it until you have verified it with your local council.
- Always shield your PIN from view when using an ATM machine, and never share your PIN with anyone.
- If your bank card is retained by an ATM machine, contact your bank immediately to inform them.
Pauline Smith, head of Action Fraud, said: “This is a highly planned fraud that takes advantage of the pressure victims feel to pay the fine, especially by those who are elderly and vulnerable. It is important that people shield your PIN from view when using an ATM machine. We are urging people to be particularly cautious of anyone claiming to be from an official authority. If in doubt, verify the person’s identity with your local council or police force.”