Warning over con artists posing as Norfolk police

Norfolk trading standards bosses have warned businesses across Norfolk not to fall for a con involving people posing as police.

Watchdogs at Norfolk County Council have had reports of companies being cold called by someone offering advertising for a publication that they claim to be producing for 'the police'.

Trading standards officers were made aware of the calls after the business run by Paul Rice, county councillor for South Smallburgh, was called.

The caller purports to be from 'the police', but when questioned further has then claimed to be from a company putting together a publication 'for the police'.

The publication is said to be a crime prevention book, which will be made available to local schools.

The caller tries to coerce the recipient into agreeing to take out advertising in the publication, which can be paid over the phone, by credit card.

Figures of �85 for a quarter page and �185 for a full page have been quoted.

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After the initial call, Mr Rice reported the matter to Norfolk police - who have confirmed that this is a scam and not something genuine that they are producing.

Mr Rice has received a number of additional calls and has challenged the caller on each occasion as to which police force they are working for - with one saying 'one nationally' before hanging up.

The final call that he received undertook a different approach - with the caller claiming that Mr Rice's company had agreed to take out an advert and now needed to make payment.

Ann Jackson, Norfolk County Council's senior trading standards officer, said: 'These calls are from scamsters and are not related to a legitimate publication that Norfolk Constabulary are producing.

'After initially trying to encourage the recipient of the call to advertise in the publication, the caller has been known to ring back at a later date and claim that payment is now due for the advertising that has never been agreed.

'When challenged for more details the caller often hangs up.

'Think carefully before agreeing to any unsolicited offers, they may not be suitable for your business needs and certainly do not give out your bank or credit card details over the phone.'