Suffolk police are warning friends and relatives of elderly people to advise them of the dangers of fraudsters after five people were scammed out of almost £30,000.
The complex scam involves an offender calling an elderly victim saying they are a police officer investigating fraud on their bank account.
They then ask for account information including card number, security number and PIN.
If the resident becomes suspicious, they are asked to dial 999 to confirm the caller is who they say they are.
But the offender doesn’t hang up and the call goes straight through to them again.
In some cases a female offender comes on the line and pretends to be working for the police control room and verifies the so called officer’s details.
Sometimes the victims have been told a courier will be sent round to collect their bank card or have even been asked to withdraw large amounts of cash.
The latest incident in Suffolk happened yesterday, Monday December 16, where a 62-year-old woman living in South Ipswich was duped into withdrawing nearly £4,000 from her bank account which was collected by a courier later that day.
Community Safety Manager for Suffolk Police Alan Osbourne said; “Fraudsters will try every way possible to scam money out of people and this appears to be one of the latest con tactics they are using.
“The police or banks will never ask for people’s bank account details over the phone and should anyone receive this type of call they should hang up immediately.
“We are working with banks, building societies and taxi or courier companies to raise awareness of this particular scam but are keen to stress to those people who have elderly family members or neighbours to spread the word and talk to them about this type of crime.”
Police are issuing the following advice:
Your bank or the police will never ask for your PIN, bank card or bank account details over the phone – never give these details out.
The police will never call you and ask you to withdraw money from your account to give to a courier or taxi driver, regardless of how convincing they may seem.
If you receive such a call leave the landline for at least five minutes to make an outside call. Fraudsters will keep the line open and have been known to play ring tones, hold music and a recorded message down the phone so the victim believes they are making a call to a legitimate number.
Use a friend’s of neighbour’s telephone instead.
Friends, family, carers and neighbours are asked to spread the word to ensure everyone is aware of this scam and what they should do.
If you have been a victim call police on 101 or 999 if you are vulnerable and need police assistance.
Police advise allowing your landline to clear for at least five minutes before you call, or ideally use another line.