5th Jun, 2020

Scammers targeting elderly and vulnerable to capitalise from the COVID-19 crisis

Ben Tyler 26th Mar, 2020

A WARNING has been issued by West Mercia Police about scammers targeting elderly and vulnerable people in Worcestershire in a bid to capitalise from the coronavirus crisis.

Officers say there has been a rise in the number of incidents with fraudsters calling up, posing as police officers or bank workers in a bid to get victims to divulge their details or hand over cash.

Det Insp Emma Wright said: “It is particularly important that at the moment, where many elderly people may be self-isolating due to coronavirus concerns, that we all remain vigilant to such frauds.

“The message is simple – the police or your bank will never ask you to hand over or transfer cash or valuables.

“Any such request is a scam.”

West Mercia Police’s Economic Crime Unit has urged people to never pass on bank details over the phone, and to report any cases to the police on 101.

Alternatively people can call the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre can be contacted on 0300 123 2040.

Other coronavirus ruses reported by West Midlands Police

SIMILAR scams have been happening in Birmingham where fraudsters have been trying to profit from coronavirus concerns.

Specialist detectives from West Midlands Police’s Economic Crime Unit are writing to past fraud victims alerting them to tricks being used by crooks to burgle homes or access banking information.

So far hackers have used phishing emails offering a list of people with COVID-19 in their area but the link leads to a malicious website.

Online sellers have offered face masks or hand sanitiser for sale but pocketed the cash and never sent out goods.

And con artists have been knocking on doors of elderly residents offering to run shopping trips but taking the cash or bank cards and never returning.

Thieves have also posed as police officers or health visitors to access homes to steal cash and valuables.

Birmingham residents should call West Midlands Police on 101 or Action Fraud to report any incidents they encounter.

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