Police launch telephone fraud campaign as more cases are reported

Police tape
Police tape

Police in Warwickshire and West Mercia have launched a campaign to tackle an increasing number of incidents in which elderly and vulnerable people are being conned into revealing details of their bank accounts.

Fraudsters contact the victims claiming that their accounts have been compromised and ask them to phone their banks using a number which the offenders supply. Some offences have involved criminals posing as officers from the Metropolitan Police Service.

The confused victim dials the number given not realising that the offender has not cleared the line and gives them the account details, including PINs.

In some cases the offenders have sent round “couriers” to collect the bank cards and take them into safe keeping. They then withdraw cash from the victim’s account. The couriers may be the offenders or unwitting taxi drivers booked to collect the cards.

Incidents have been reported across the country, with West Midlands being hit particularly hard.

In the last week one offence took place in the Leamington area and nine in the Worcester area

Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police are urging individuals to be vigilant, and not to be taken in by this scam.

Posters are being distributed in communities across both force areas, and local officers are speaking to those who may be affected and anyone who has contact with them.

They advise the following:

* Banks and police officers will never ask for account details or PINs over the phone, and would not come round to the house to collect your cards or property.

* If you do get such a call, hang up immediately and dial 999 using another phone.

* If you have already been taken in by this scam, or know someone who has, make sure that the cards are cancelled and call police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org

* If you see any suspicious activity in your locality report it to police.