Scam victim warns other potential victims
A victim of a scam who had thousands of pounds stolen urges others to be vigilant and not fall prey to the same fraud.
The fraud happened between Wednesday 15 October 2014 and Thursday 23 October 2014 when the 83-year-old female victim from Bournemouth received a number of phone calls from a man pretending to be an officer from Portsmouth Police.
She was asked by the pretend officer to help him with his investigation as he had a suspect in custody with a copy of her debit card with which the arrested person had bought a television. The man also mentioned that he believed a local bank was involved in the fraud.
The victim was then asked to put the phone down and dial 999 to confirm the validity of this. She did so not realising that the offenders had stayed connected now pretending to be somebody else.
She was then instructed on three separate occasions to make payments in three separate branches of her bank.
Detective Sergeant Andy Roberts, of Bournemouth CID, said: “This is unfortunately another crime which seems linked to an ongoing money scams in Dorset and other parts of the country in which elderly victims are targeted with fraudulent phone calls.
“These are callous offenders targeting vulnerable members of our community and the victim in this case lost over twenty thousand pounds.
“I would like to stress that the police, no matter which force, would never ask anyone to make payments in this way.”
The victim said: “I am really shocked that people would target elderly victims like me in this way and abused my good intentions to help a police officer.
“This experience has been devastating and has put a great financial burden on me and my family. I am very grateful for the support my family has given me over the last few weeks.
“I want to warn others and make them aware of these horrible scams so they don’t fall victim as I did.”
DS Roberts continued: “I urge residents, when contacted by anyone trying to persuade them to hand over or transfer money, not to agree to any such arrangements and to inform Dorset Police on 101 at the earliest opportunity.
“I would also ask family members and neighbours to report any concerns to the police. I strongly urge everyone to be vigilant and make sure they take note of our crime prevention 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 – 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 any unknown or unexpected callers inside your home. If you are suspicious, call 999 immediately.
- Do not hand over any cash to people unknown to you.
- Report these crimes to police by calling Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 101 quoting incident number 28:88. Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where mobile phone tariffs may apply.
Issued: 28 November 2014