New Forest residents are warned to be wary of suspicious phone calls after at least two homes were targeted by fraudsters.
One man, who lives in the Hythe area and wishes to stay anonymous, reported a phone scam after he received a call claiming to be from one of the High Street banks.
An automated message was left on his answerphone asking him to respond to a survey. He called the number given and heard another automated message asking him to give more details about his account.
He then contacted the bank, who said the phone survey was nothing to do with them. The bank’s policy is to write a letter or personally phone their customers.
Hythe and Dibden Parish Council Community Safety Officer Norman Bareham said: “If you get a call like the one described, do not respond to the questions you will be asked and please warn others to be on their guard.”
The Partnership also asks people not to keep a note of their PIN number, try to remember it instead. This follows a burglary in which a purse was stolen containing a bank card with the PIN number next to it, which was then used to withdraw £250.
Ask at your bank if you need help changing your PIN number to one you can remember more easily.
The second phone incident involved a local businessman who received a mobile phone call claiming to be from the police and selling advertising space.
The man was surprised to hear the caller asking if he would like to place an advert in the police magazine, he refused and ended the call.
Norman said: “The police would not ring businesses direct to sell advertising space. There are publications read by police officers – and people do advertise in those publications – but the advertising space is sold by the publishers or their agents and not by someone ringing you up claiming to be the police.”
Cllr Jill Cleary, NFDC portfolio holder for Housing and Communities, said: “These latest reports of phone scams are just the two of many which are being carried out by fraudsters who prey on vulnerable people in our communities.
“I hope this will put people on their guard if they receive suspicious phone calls, and also unwelcome doorstep sales or emails promising cash or other incentives.”
The Safer New Forest Partnership suggests residents may consider registering with the Telephone Preferential Service (TPS), which reduces, and in some cases completely eliminates, the nuisance calls you receive, on both your landline and mobile phones. Find out more online at tpsonline.org.uk/tps or call the registration line on 0845 070 0707.
You can contact Hampshire County Council’s Quick Response Team on 01962 833666 with concerns about local doorstep, phone or computer scams.
Information about the work of the Safer New Forest Partnership can be found on www.safer.newforest.gov.uk or contact Community Safety co-ordinator Stephanie Bennett on 023 8028 5588, email firstname.lastname@example.org