Police have arrested two men in connection with a number of bogus caller scams in the region.
Officers from the North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU) have today carried out search warrants at addresses in South Shields in a joint operation with local officers.
A 30-year-old man has been arrested in relation to fraud offences and another 30-year-old man has been arrested in relation to immigration and fraud offences. Both men are currently in police custody.
The operation was part of co-ordinated enforcement activity targeting those involved in complex and organised fraud targeting elderly people in the North East in attempts to defraud them of thousands of pounds.
The arrests follow a number of reports to police from residents across the North East about receiving calls from people claiming to be Metropolitan police officers, asking residents to withdraw money and hand it over to a courier for safe keeping.
Detective Sergeant Jennifer Milsom, from NERSOU’s fraud team, said: “The arrests this morning send out a clear message to fraudsters that we are taking action against those we suspect to be involved in fraud.
“This is a scam which is affecting residents on a national level and involves fraudsters intercepting phone lines, holding open lines and posing as other police forces and banking authorities.
“The bank or police will never tell you to take such actions, so if you’re asked then be suspicious. Never give out bank details over the phone, even if you believe you are talking to a genuine police officer or bank personnel.
“I would urge members of the public to be on their guard and if they do receive a suspicious call to never give out your four-digit pin over the phone, and put the phone down immediately.”
For more information on fraud and crime prevention, please visit http://www.northumbria.police.uk/fraud/telephoneor www.actionfraud.co.uk.
Police ask that anyone who may receive a suspicious call reports it to Northumbria police on 101 ext 69191.