ELDERLY Vale residents have been warned to be on their guard against a ongoing courier fraud scam in the town which has already seen thousands of pounds successfully taken from the elderly and vulnerable home-owners.
West Mercia Police has issued the warning after several cases in the town of fraudsters pretending to be police officers and stressed police officers will never contact people asking for their bank card or to visit a bank to withdraw cash.
The deception can also be carried out in several ways, such as a phone caller pretending to be a police officer who is investigating unidentified activity/ fraud in their bank account and seeking cooperation with an ‘investigation’.
The victim is then persuaded to withdraw funds and hand them over to the ‘investigators’, either by some remote means or in person to a courier, giving them a code word.
The victim is told if the bank cashier queries the large withdrawal they are to say it is for work/repairs in the home or a large purchase
Alternatively the victim may be asked to hand over bank cards, vouchers or other valuable items. They may also be asked to transfer funds to another account, which is controlled by the fraudsters.
Det Insp Emma Wright said: “This type of fraud often targets older and more vulnerable people and we would urge everyone to tell someone, by passing on the information about the bogus callers to relatives, friends and neighbours who may not have heard about the local telephone scam in operation.”
“These scams can be extremely convincing and manipulative. The fraudsters may give (alleged) crime numbers, investigation details, code words and job titles. They will always claim that the transaction must be done in secret.
“The fraudsters condition their victim not to trust bank branch staff, which can make it hard for those staff to help.
“These calls are not genuine and payments should not be made. No legitimate bank/building society, police officer, or business will ever phone you to ask you to give them your card, your PIN, or your cash in the way we’ve described above.
“Please remember the police will never contact you asking for your bank card or to visit a bank to withdraw cash. If someone does, it’s a scam – provide no details and hand nothing over, hang up and report it.”
Visit www.actionfraud.police.uk or call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 for more.