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29th Jun, 2022

Warning after elderly targeted by 'police' phone fraudsters

Worcester Editorial 30th Jul, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

POLICE have warned residents to be vigilant after five elderly people in Worcester were targeted by phone fraudsters.

Officers are urging the public to beware of the telephone scam, which involves a cold caller pretending to be the police and then telling the victim to hand their bank card over to a courier.

Last Friday (July 25) a man in his 70s received a call from someone who said they were from ‘London Police’, advised him their card details had been used and said they would send someone to collect it.

Within 30 minutes two crooks arrived at the man’s home and took his card.

On the same day another man in his 70s had someone claiming to be from Holborn Police Station phone him, and stated two men were in custody regarding the use of his bank card.

The victim called his bank who confirmed no fraudulent transactions had taken place.

Three further incidents were recorded last Tuesday (July 22) when a 70-year-old man from Barns Close, a man from Horsford Road and a 91-year-old living in Sanctuary Close were all targeted.

Police have said to never divulge a PIN number over the phone, cancel cards immediately if information has been given, call 999 from another phone if you receive one of these calls and to report any suspicious activity to officers.

Supt Keven Purcell said: “Police officers, and indeed banks, will never ask for account details or PINs over the phone, and would not come around to your house to collect your cards or property.

“Not all of these incidents resulted in people handing over the cards. This is exactly the right response. If you are suspicious it is absolutely correct to refuse to provide your card or any of your bank details.

“We are exploring any potential links between incidents. One avenue we are looking at is that some of the incidents in recent weeks appear to be targeted at people with the surname of Smith.

“We would urge anyone with that name, of any spelling, to be especially vigilant.”

Anyone who has been affected by fraud can contact police on the non-emergency number 101 or by calling Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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