In this type of scam, the victim is either called by phone or a person shows up at their doorstep, claiming to be a police officer. The fake police officer often tells the victim that they are or will soon become subject to a crime and that the police need their online bank user identifiers or card details in order to prevent the crime. The victim may also be told that their funds are in danger and must be transferred to the account of the police in order to keep them safe.
We would like to point out that a real police officer or bank will never ask for online bank user identifiers or card details. If this happens, it is always a scam, and such information should never be disclosed to anyone asking for it.
If you are contacted by the police or a person claiming to be a police officer, you can verify their authenticity in the following ways:
- Ask the person’s name and the police station where they work. Call them back through the police switchboard.
- The switchboards of police stations can be found online at www.poliisi.fi.
- If a person claiming to be a police officer shows up at your door, ask the person to show their badge before you let them in. A real police officer will show their police badge on request and let you view it carefully.
- If a person claiming to be a police officer calls you or shows up at your door and asks for your banking details, call 112.
If you suspect that you have disclosed your online bank user identifiers or card details to fraudsters, do as follows:
- Immediately deactivate your user identifiers by calling OP’s Telephone Service at 0100 0500 (Mon–Fri 8–16).
- Outside the Telephone Service hours, deactivate your user identifiers by calling the Deactivation Service at +358 20 333 (24/7).
- Be sure to also call our Telephone Service during service hours to report the incident.
- Report the offence to the police.
Prepare in advance:
- Discuss the threat of fake police officers, especially with your elderly family members.
- Fake police officers usually contact their victims by phone. Consider with your elderly family members whether it is a good idea to have their phone numbers available through number services or whether the numbers could be made secret.
- A more recent and so far rarer type of a fake police officer scam is the fake relative scam in which an elderly person is called and told that their relative is in trouble and urgently needs money. The money is asked to be transferred to an account that has not previously been used by the relative in trouble.
- Some older people are also vulnerable to different types of subscription traps in which they are deceived to subscribe to products or services that they do not need or which do not necessarily even exist.