• Increased number of reports to Action Fraud of fraudsters claiming to be police officers or traffic wardens.
• A number of reports have been linked to elderly and vulnerable victims.
• If your bank card is retained by an ATM machine, contact your bank immediately to inform them.
Action Fraud has received 33 reports since January 2019 of victims being targeted by individuals purporting to be police officers and traffic wardens. A number of these victims have been elderly and vulnerable.
The victims are being approached while in their car or in a car park and told by the suspect that they have parked illegally or broken a speed limit and that a photo has been taken of their car for evidence. Victims are advised that they will face a substantial penalty fine unless they pay a smaller upfront fee.
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.
- 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.”