11.01 PM Saturday 28 May 2016

Telephone scams and courier fraud

Dorset Police has intensified its telephone money scams awareness campaign after it has been revealed that residents in the county have lost over a million pounds to fraudsters.

Telephone_Fraud_PosterThe Force is calling on residents to heighten their vigilance to potential fraud threats after a significant number of incidents in the county over the past year.

The message ‘Hang Up On Fraudsters’ is being spread throughout Dorset and the South West in response to a spate of offences since November 2014. Victim losses within the region are in excess of two million, with over 750 reported crimes, and potentially many more unreported. 

A range of resources, including posters and fliers, have been utilised in Dorset to warn the public. Local businesses, including post offices, hospitals and GP surgeries have also been displaying the advice. Social media platforms have been positively targeted with the hash tag #HangUpOnFraudsters and local radio stations have helped to spread awareness. Neighbourhood Policing Teams in Weymouth, Poole and Purbeck have attended supermarkets and community events to offer crime prevention advice to the public.

The campaign has had positive results, with many members of the public coming forward with information and refusing to hand over money. However, officers are still concerned as the offences continue in certain areas. 

Residents in Poole, Dorchester and Weymouth have been targeted by the offenders, who call the victims and tell them that their bank accounts have been compromised in some way. The callers have a variety of sophisticated methods, including pretending to be police officers or banking advisors, to convince victims that they are legitimate. On many occasions they have persuaded them to transfer or hand over large sums of cash.

 

 

Phone Fraudster call captured by local pensioner

 

Dorset Police is issuing the following advice:

 

We would urge:

  • Children, grandchildren, relatives and friends of the elderly and vulnerable to warn them of the scam.
  • Taxi company owners and drivers to be vigilant, especially if approached or asked to courier small packages to London on behalf of elderly people.
  • Banks and other financial institutions, in particular counter staff, to be suspicious if elderly customers uncharacteristically draw large amounts of cash and to query this.

 

Anyone who receives a suspicious call is urged to:

  • Hang up immediately, dial 1471 and note the number that called you.
  • If you need to use the same phone, wait five minutes, as the fraudsters could still be on the line or use another phone on a different line.
  • Report the call to your local police on 101.

 

Simple guidelines to help you to prevent yourself becoming a victim of courier fraud are:

  • NEVER give your PIN or bank details out over the phone
  • NEVER withdraw cash and send it anywhere via a courier or taxi
  • NEVER send bank cards anywhere via a courier or taxi
  • NEITHER the police nor your bank will ever ask for you to do any of the above.

 

ArrowDownload our Hang Up On Fraudsters posters, from the right hand side menu >

 

Anyone with information about such scams should call us on 101. Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where mobile phone tariffs may apply.

 

 

Operation Luna - Telephone Scams / Courier Fraud News Releases

 

 

10 March 2016 - Phone scam incident in Poole - public appeal

Detectives are appealing for witnesses and reminding the public to be aware after a phone scam in Poole. >

11 December 2015 - Phone scam and theft in East Dorset - witness appeal

Detectives are appealing for witnesses and reminding the public to remain vigilant after a phone scam in East Dorset >

10 December 2015 - Courier fraud conviction

A group of nine men have been convicted in connection with one of the biggest courier fraud investigations carried out by British police.

5 June 2015 - Phone companies hang up on fraudsters in Dorset

Dorset Police have been working with telecoms operators in the area to prevent fraudsters catching out unsuspecting elderly and vulnerable victims, by reducing the amount of time a line stays open after the recipient has tried to disconnect the call >

27 May 2015 - Courier fraudster with victims across south west is jailed

A 21-year-old London man has been jailed for more than five years following an investigation by Zephyr – the south west regional organised crime unit > (Links to Avon & Somerset Police website)

 

7 May 2015 - Six charged with fraud offences

Officers from the Met's Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) investigating fraud and money laundering offences have last night, Wednesday, 6 May, charged six men with conspiracy to defraud >


30 April 2015 - Phone fraudster call captured by local pensioner

A recording of a telephone conversation between a criminal and his victim has been released to the public to make people aware of how fraudsters are trying to con the elderly out of thousands of pounds >


29 April 2015 - 'Day of Action' tackles fraud in the community

Due to the recent increase in the number of reports of telephone fraud in Dorset, officials from the police, Trading Standards and Barclays and NatWest banks are holding fraud awareness events next week >

ArrowDownload poster for Dorford Centre & United Reform Church events (748kb PDF) >

ArrowDownload poster for Christchurch Day Centre, Highcliffe event (747kb PDF) >

 

23 April 2015 - Two men arrested in phone scams investigation

Two men were arrested today, Thursday 23 April 2015, as part of an on-going investigation into telephone money scams in Dorset >

 

2 April 2015 - Phone scam and theft in Swanage - witness appeal

Detectives are appealing for witnesses and reminding the public to remain vigilant after a phone scam, resulting in fraud and theft, in Swanage >

 

31 March 2015 - Warning after spate of phone scams in west Dorset

Police are warning the public after a spate of telephone money scams targeting the Weymouth and Dorchester areas yesterday (30 March 2015) >

 

12 March 2015 - Police intensify phone scams campaign to warn public

Dorset Police has intensified its telephone money scams awareness campaign after it has been revealed that residents in the county have lost over a million pounds to fraudsters >

 

5 March 2015 - Warning and appeals after phone scams in west Dorset

Police are warning the public of a new spate of telephone money scams targeting the Weymouth and Dorchester areas and are appealing to victims of any unreported incidents to come forward >

 

27 February 2015 - Telephone fraudsters scam elderly of money

Fraudsters can be very convincing, which is why Dorset Police is warning residents, particularly elderly people in the Poole area, of a telephone scam >