Telephone scam targeting the elderly and vulnerable
Be aware of telephone callers pretending to be police and from other official bodies. Please help raise awareness by sharing the below message with family, friends and any vulnerable neighbours...'to be forewarned is to be forearmed'.
West Mercia Police have been made aware of attempts to defraud people over the telephone One victim was called on the phone (Monday 6 January 2020) and grew suspicious after the caller claimed they were from Hammersmith Police claiming the victim’s debit card had been cloned and they had two people in custody.
Sergeant Ingrid Tozer said: "We have seen a number of attempts to defraud elderly and vulnerable people out of their banked savings and cash. Criminals pretending to be police officers are using a type of scam known as ‘courier fraud’ where they tell the victim to go to their bank, withdraw their money and hand it over to waiting courier. “In the last few cases in Shrewsbury the victims of the attempts have realised something wasn’t right and hung the phone up.
* Don't trust anyone who calls you about your bank details or asking you to go to a bank to withdraw money. Always hang up and wait 10 minutes to ensure the call has disconnected before calling 101.
* If you want to check they are legitimate, find their number via directory enquiries and call them back.
* If possible, also use a different telephone line to make sure the line is clear e.g. a mobile phone or the phone of a trusted friend or relative. If they are genuine, you should be able to get through to them. You can also check what they are saying is true with your bank.
* Scams can be very elaborate, very convincing and cruel. If you think someone is trying to scam you, tell someone straight away. Don't be pressured and give yourself time to stop and think.
* Please remember the police will never contact you asking for your bank card or cash. We will also never ask you to purchase expensive items or transfer money to a safe account If someone does, it's a scam – provide no details and hand nothing over, hang up and report it immediately to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or 0300 123 2040 or the police by calling 101."
“We are working hard to identify these criminals trying to con our elderly and vulnerable family members and friends and a number of arrests have been made and charges have been brought.
However we would ask the public to spread this message of caution and awareness throughout the wider community and would urge you to pass on, particularly to elderly relatives or neighbours, information about these scams and ask them not to trust anyone who asks them for their bank details or for money over the phone.”
***End of message***
(This message has been circulated CMS to all communities West Mercia Police areas).