Public appeal following banking scams targeting elderly residents in East Dorset

21 August 2019
Officers are again urging residents to remain vigilant after scammers targeted elderly residents in East Dorset.

At around 11.30am on Tuesday 20 August 2019 an elderly woman received a phone call from a man purporting to be from NatWest bank in Ringwood. He told her she needed to go to the bank to hand over all of her bank cards for them to be amalgamated. The victim said she was unable to make it to Ringwood, so the man said he would send a courier to collect them.

At 2.15pm a man attended her address in Church Hill in Verwood and gave the victim an envelope for her bank cards. The victim handed over three cards to the offender. 

She later received a genuine call from NatWest to say that there had been fraudulent activity on her accounts and £500 had been withdrawn. Her cards were then cancelled.

The offender is described as black, aged in his 20s, six feet tall and wearing a high-visibility jacket.
  
Later the same day Dorset Police received a report of a similar fraud offence that is said to have occurred at around 12pm. Two men rang the bell of an address in Cranfield Avenue in Wimborne and told the elderly female occupant that the bank had to issue new cards and she would receive them the following day.

The victim invited one of the men – described as black and aged in his 20s wearing a high-visibility jacket – into her address. She handed over her empty cheque book and a piece of paper with some personal details on.  It is not believed any money was stolen.

The second man is described as white, five feet eight inches tall and wore a shirt and trousers.

A third incident was reported to have occurred at 2pm on Tuesday 20 August 2019 when a man living at an address in Wimborne received a phone call from a man claiming to be from the local NatWest branch. 

The scammer seemed to know the victim’s home address and stated that someone would attend the following day to take away his old debit and credit cards. Luckily this man contacted Dorset Police and advice was given. He also contacted his bank who again confirmed that it was a scam.

Inspector Simon Perry, of East Dorset police, said: “Yet again we have received reports of heartless criminals targeting elderly and vulnerable people in their homes purporting to be from their bank.

“A full investigation is underway and I would urge anyone who was in these areas at the relevant time and saw someone acting suspiciously to please contact us. It may be that someone has caught these two men on dashcam or home CCTV – if this is the case, please come forward.

“I would also ask anyone who has been contacted in similar suspicious circumstances to contact Dorset Police.

“We are again issuing very clear advice to people. Please remember, the bank will never send someone to your home to collect your bank cards or ask for your PINs. If someone calls you claiming to be from your bank and you are unsure of their validity, we would urge you to ask for their name, hang up and contact your bank directly.

“I would ask anyone with elderly family members to please talk to them about these types of scams and help provide them with advice on what to do if they are in any doubt."

For more information, visit - https://www.dorset.police.uk/help-advice-crime-prevention/scams-fraud-cyber-crime/

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 55190130592. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
 

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