Police are urging people to be on their guard for fraudsters after a telephone scam in Berwick, Northumberland. 

On two occasions - one on Tuesday, March 25, and a second the following day - the caller has told the victims that he was from their bank, he was blocking an unauthorised bank transaction and advised the callers to ring him back to confirm the legitimacy of the phone call. 

However, the offender has stayed on the line as the victim dialled the number, and as a result they have transferred money to what they thought was their bank, when in reality it was a fraudster. 

As a result large sums of money have been stolen. 

Police are urging people to be on their guard - to avoid becoming a victim: 

- Be aware that fraudsters often use techniques to hold your phone line open, so that when you try to dial out to verify the caller, they intercept and re-answer the call, claiming to be the bank or law enforcement. 

-To ensure that your phone has not been compromised, we recommend using a different phone line to verify the caller. Where a second phone line is not available, try calling a family or friend on the line first, as the fraudster will find it difficult to impersonate a voice that is known to you. 

- Never disclose your PIN or online / telephone banking log-in information or card reader codes to anyone, even if the caller claims to be from the bank or police. Remember, banks NEVER call and ask you to disclose these security details. 

- If you receive a call requesting your PIN, card details or online / telephone banking log-in information, end the call immediately. 

- If you receive a suspicious or unexpected call, always verify the caller by taking their phone number and getting it checked independently. 

- Ensure elderly relatives and neighbours are aware of the fraud and crime prevention advice. 

Report any suspicious phone calls to police straight away on 101 ext 69191.

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