More scam victims come forward - Police warning as man arrested

UPDATED: 7 April 2014

Dorset Police have received four reports today of a suspected telephone hoax and would like to advise the public to be vigilant.

It has been reported that telephone calls have been received from a person purporting to be a detective constable from the Metropolitan Police. They were told that a person known to them was in custody that had their bank details or had taken money from their accounts.  The caller asks them to confirm their identity and in some cases asks them to hang up re-dial 999.

Fortunately, in all of these incidents the victims have not complied and have notified the police instead.

Telephone bank scams similar to this have been occurring nationally with people being defrauded of thousands of pounds. Dorset Police would like to warn members of the public that these scams are continuing across the county and to call the police to report any such suspicious calls.

 

UPDATED: 25 March 2014

On Monday 24 March 2014 a 22-year-old London man was arrested in London on suspicion of fraud by false representation. He is in custody helping the police with their enquiries.

 

Detectives investigating a series of incidents where people were targeted by fraudsters at their homes are renewing their appeal for witnesses and issuing a warning to the public – after at least 11 victims of similar crimes have come forward.

Last week Dorset Police issued a witness and information appeal after four phone bank scams were reported to Dorset Police which involved the victim receiving a phone call from a person posing as a police officer. 

The victim is informed of a possible fraudulent transaction going out of their bank account and is advised to call the bank to report it. The scammers then hold the phone line open by not hanging up at their end. When the victim then phones the bank, they are still connected to the fraudster and divulge bank details to them.

In the last few days a further 11 crimes of a similar nature have been reported across the county, in particular in Bournemouth, Dorchester and Weymouth. Dorset Police are now warning all members of the public to be vigilant and note the following advice:

  • Do not reveal your bank details including PIN to anyone - banks will already have these details and will never ask for your card back.
  • If you receive an unexpected call from someone claiming to be from your bank, do not give them any details, hang up and call your bank on their regular contact telephone number and the police – using a different telephone and phone line.  
  • Do not give your bank cards to strangers whatever reason they may give you to part with them.
  • Do not allow inside your home any unknown or unexpected callers. If you are suspicious call 999 immediately.
  • Do not hand over any cash to people unknown to you.

Detective Inspector Mark Samuel, of Bournemouth and Poole CID, said: “We believe that these crimes are happening nationally and it is possible that many more have not been reported. We want to prevent innocent members of the public handing over money to fraudsters.

“It is extremely important that the public are made aware of these scams so that they do not fall prey to their tactics. I strongly urge everyone to make sure they take note of our crime prevention advice.

“Banks or the police will never ask for a PIN number or ask for money to be transferred in this manner.

“If you are in doubt about the origin of a call, check with your bank. Use a different phone to call the bank to ensure the line has been properly cleared. 

“Anyone who has become a victim of such an offence and has yet to report this should contact Dorset Police immediately on the non-emergency number 101.

“We’d urge people to dismiss any calls they receive like this and report them to police by calling Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.”

Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 101, quoting crime number C:14:X:10883. Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where mobile phone tariffs may apply.

Issued: 21 March 2014

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