'Despicable' fraudsters con elderly sisters out of £9,000 - The Rugby Observer

'Despicable' fraudsters con elderly sisters out of £9,000

Rugby Editorial 29th Oct, 2020 Updated: 29th Oct, 2020   0

TWO ELDERLY sisters from Warwickshire were conned out of £9,000 by a courier fraud scam.

A man has been arrested in connection with the incident which happened in Stoneleigh on October 6.

The women, aged in their 70s and 80s, were contacted by someone claiming to be a Detective Sergeant from the West Midlands Police Fraud Team.

The caller asked both victims to go to their banks and withdraw cash to assist with an investigation into counterfeit notes being used in the bank.

The women withdrew £9,000 between them, which they gave to the courier who came to collect the cash.

Following the arrest of a man on October 9 and subsequent enquiries, officers yesterday (Wednesday October 28) arrested an 18-year-old man at an address in East London on suspicion of fraud by false representation. He has been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

Det Sgt Paul Hainsworth from Warwickshire Police said: “This was a very upsetting incident for the victims who lost a significant amount of money at the hands of fraudsters pretending to be from the police, who continue to prey on individuals, particularly the elderly and the vulnerable.

“The fraudsters’ stories are often believable and they will put a lot of pressure on victims to convince them to withdraw or transfer money, often for fraud reasons.

“These are despicable crimes which can have devastating impacts on victims, and I hope yesterday’s arrest shows that we are determined to catch those responsible and will do everything in our power to bring them to justice.”

The police and banks will never:

  • Contact people out of the blue and ask for personal details, including PIN numbers, passwords or account details
  • Ask people to transfer money into another account for fraud reasons
  • Ask people to withdraw cash and hand to someone for safe keeping
  • Ask people to purchase high value items such as gift cards
  • Send someone to collect cash or other high value items, bank cards, account details or PIN numbers.

Police gave the following advice:

  • If unsure whether someone on the phone is genuine, hang up and use a different line to call the organisation they are purporting to be from using a number from the phonebook or internet to verify their identity
  • Don’t give out personal information to anyone over the phone, including PIN numbers and bank account or card details
  • Anyone who has given out personal banking or card details to someone over the phone should contact their bank immediately to cancel their card.

Call Warwickshire Police on 101 to report calls from people purporting to be police officers and asking for money to be withdrawn or transferred.

Victims of telephone scams can report them to Action Fraud at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or on 0300 123 2040.

For advice on scams, contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133. Always call 999 in an emergency.

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