4th Jul, 2020

Phone fraudsters operating across Worcestershire posing as police officers to scam elderly and vulnerable

POSING as detectives from Scotland Yard is the latest ruse being used by fraudsters who have been targeting elderly and vulnerable people across Worcestershire in a bid to con them out of cash.

The courier fraud technique being used has previously enabled scammers to gain thousands of pounds.

The callers claim to be police officers investigating suspicious activity or fraud on the person’s bank account, insisting they need to co-operate with the investigation.

The victim is then persuaded to withdraw large amounts of cash and hand it over to the ‘investigators’ by some remote means or via a courier.

They are told if bank cashiers query the large withdrawal they are to say it is for work or repairs in the home or shopping.

Alternatively the victim may be asked to hand over bank cards, vouchers or other valuable items or transfer funds to another account, which is controlled by the fraudsters.

Det Insp Emma Wright urged people with elderly or vulnerable friends, family or neighbours to make them aware of the scams.

“They can be very elaborate, very convincing and cruel.

“Always remember no police officer from any force or department will ever ask you to hand over money or transfer funds, regardless of their name or unit.”

As part of these extremely convincing and manipulative scams, fraudsters may give alleged crime numbers, investigation details and job titles and will almost always claim transactions must be done in secret.

The fraudsters condition their victim not to trust bank branch staff which makes it hard for those employees to help.

In the most recent incidents, ‘DC Alex McQueen from Scotland Yard’ was used as an alias but the name they use is regularly changed.

Anyone targeted should not trust anyone who calls regarding bank details, always hang up and wait ten minutes to ensure the call has disconnected before calling 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to report it.

Potential victims can call 999 in an emergency.

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