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Paper: 'Fake cop' phone scam nets con artists 800k euros

Finnish police say this year there's been a spike in phone scammers claiming to be police officers, asking people for their banking details and then emptying their accounts. Newspaper Keskisuomalainen reports that the scammers have already netted some 800,000 euros.

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File photo. Image: Ismo Pekkarinen / AOP

Scammers are apparently taking advantage of Finns' high levels of trust in the authorities by calling unsuspecting people in order to trick them out of their money by posing as police officers.

Con artists posing as police officers have tricked Finnish residents out of an estimated 800,000 euros this year alone. The fake officers call people and eventually ask them to provide bank account numbers and other personal data, according to newspaper Keskisuomalainen.

Many people clearly fall for the trick but the majority do not, according to the Police Board's Jyrki Aho.

More than 800 police complaints about the fake cop phone scams have been made so far this year, the paper writes, and the frequency of complaints is rising.

Major increase since summer

This year's tally of fake cop complaints during the middle of July was around 300, while in May the figure was about 200, Aho told the paper.

"In the past it was a question of a few isolated cases. Now the activity is professionally-run and we're talking about organised crime," Aho said.

Aho pointed out that actual police officers never ask for people's bank details over the telephone.

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