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Public urged to remain vigilant following further phone scams in Dorset

11 December 2020
Officers are calling on the public to remain extremely vigilant after another elderly couple were conned into handing over savings to fraudsters in west Dorset.

The Force has received number of calls over recent days of fraudsters attempting to convince residents across the north and west of the county to withdraw money from their banks and hand it over for safe keeping.

In each case the conmen tell victims that they are from a police force and that their bank accounts have been compromised. 

A man and woman living in Bridport lost a total of £10,700 on Wednesday 9 December 2020 to fraudsters in separate incidents. 

A third incident where a substantial amount of money was lost occurred on Thursday 10 December 2020. A couple aged in their 70s received a call from a man on an unknown number who said he was a detective inspector and a woman working for their bank was being investigated after being found with £11,000 cash on her.

The caller told the couple to go to the bank, withdraw two amounts of £3,000 to see if the notes were counterfeit and once home tell him the serial numbers to see if they were fraudulent.

The woman did this and she was told there were counterfeit. The caller said a courier would be sent to collect the money.

Sometime between 4.15pm and 4.45pm a man described as of Indian or Pakistani descent attended their home in Redbridge Road in Crossways and collected the money. He wore a black scarf covering his face.

Investigations into all these incidents remain ongoing.

Detective Inspector Dave Horn, of Weymouth CID, said: “I am appealing to anyone who was in the area of Redbridge Road in Crossways between the relevant time on Thursday 10 December and saw the man described, or a suspicious vehicle, to please contact Dorset Police.

“I would urge any motorists with dashcam who were driving in the area or residents with home CCTV systems to check their footage from this time period to see if they have captured the courier or any relevant vehicle.” 

North and East Dorset Neighbourhood Policing Team Inspector Simon Perry said: “We are receiving a number of reports of similar attempted phone scams and unfortunately a small number of cases where people have sadly lost their hard-earned money.

"We would like to remind everyone that police officers nor your bank will ask you to withdraw money to be collected. They will also not ask for your PIN number. If you are in any doubt, hang up and call your bank directly. 

“It is imperative that we do all we can to speak to our elderly loved ones or neighbours about this scam so that no one else becomes a victim.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55200185884. Alternatively, to stay 100 per cent anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or call Freephone 0800 555 111.

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