There have been occasions when fraudsters have posed as police officers, both in person and on the phone, to trick people into giving them personal information and defraud them of money.
To verify an officer’s identity, ask for the officer's personal radio to be put on loudspeaker and for an officer or member of police staff in the Control Room to confirm:
that the officer is who they say they are
that they are on duty
the reason the officer is speaking to the member of the public
Please note, if you've been on the phone to someone – who called you – but you have doubts about them, we recommend that you hang up and wait five minutes before you call us. There have been cases of fraudsters keeping the line open after a victim has hung up. Leaving several minutes between calls will make sure that the call has closed.
How our officers will contact you
How our officers make contact will depend on how you've asked us to contact you and the circumstances around why they're contacting you.
For investigative purposes we may get in touch:
in person by phone by email
Whichever way an officer contacts you they will identify themselves clearly as an officer and explain why they're contacting you.
Contact in person
If one of our officers contacts you in person, they'll show you their police warrant card. This is proof of their identity and authority.
Asking the police officer to verify their identify using the procedure above is an option available to you to provide additional reassurance.
Contact by phone
If one of our officers needs to speak to you on the phone, they'll identify themselves clearly. They will never:
ask you for your bank details or PIN
ask you to transfer funds to another account
ask you to hand over cash or bank cards to a courier
ask you to pay a fine or a fee to them or a third party over the phone or online
ask you for access to your computer, passwords or log on details over the phone or online
ask you to register personal details in an attachment or website online
ask you to 'assist' in an investigation by doing any of the above
state that you are committing a crime by not complying
communicate in an abusive, threatening or coercive manner
Contact by email
If one of our officers contacts you by email, they will never:
ask for remote access to your computer
ask you to click on a hyperlink to participate in an investigation
send you unsolicited emails with attached files, especially zip or macro-enabled Microsoft Office files
ask you for any login credentials or passwords
Remember if you're unsure about whether the person you're dealing with is a genuine police officer – stop – and call us on 101 to check their identity.
If you think you've been a victim of fraud, please report it to Action Fraud either online or by phone: 0300 123 2040.