Posted on 19th November 2014
Police are asking residents to be alert to a scam where fraudsters con people over the phone to obtain their bank account details, debit cards and money.
The offenders will often phone their victims and tell them fraudulent activity has been detected on their accounts. They then pretend to hang up so the victim can call the bank themselves to check.
But instead of hanging up, the fraudsters mute their handset, stay on the line until the victim dials the bank, then pretends to be from the bank and obtains security details.
Yesterday (Tuesday, November 18) an elderly woman in Darley Abbey reported an incident where she was contacted over the phone by a fraudster claiming to work for Hammersmith police.
He told the victim there had been fraudulent activity on her account and asked her to withdraw a sum of money from her account for a courier to collect.
Later that day, the courier collected a large quantity of money from the victim. She described his appearance as Asian.
On Wednesday, November 5 an elderly man also from Darley Abbey received a phone call from a fraudster claiming to work as an officer from Burton Police Station.
He was also told there had been fraudulent activity on his account (card had been cloned) but in this instance he was told that a courier would come to collect his cards for potential fingerprint evidence.
His card was later accessed and a sum of money taken from his account.
It is believed the same courier operated in both incidents and is described as an Asian man in his early 20s, dressed smart/casual and wearing a pencil line beard. He drives a large silver Mercedes.
Police have referred the crimes to the National Fraud Agency for investigation.
In many cases the elderly community appears to be targeted by these phone scams. If you have elderly relatives or neighbours’ please share the following advice.
Simple advice for everyone:
- Do not give your card details or personal information to a caller you do not know
- The police would not cold call about a suspected offence, the banks will never suggest for you to hand your card to a courier
- Keep your PIN a secret and remember that banks will never ask you for your PIN
- Report any suspicious incidents to the police immediately by phoning 101 or 999 if the crime is in action
Anyone with information about these crimes should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.