POLICE are warning people to be on their guard following a spate of scam phone calls across Worcestershire.
Within the past couple of months, scammers have targeted elderly and vulnerable people, pretending to be the police and telling callers that their bank card has been used fraudulently.
Occurring in Herefordshire and Shropshire as well, callers have also stated they are from the MET police but have been known to claim they are from West Mercia Police, MI6 or the fraud squad.
Sometimes they will ask the caller to contact the bank, but remain on the line in order to obtain the bank details, before sending a courier to collect the card or they have asked the victims to transfer money to a secure police account, asking them to call back to verify that they are genuine, whilst holding the line.
On other occasions the scammers have told the victims to attend the bank to transfer money but told them that bank employees are involved in the scam, so not to mention it to them.
More recently callers have told victims that they are from Customs and Excise and that they have paid too much tax, in order to get this back they must pay an amount of money via a courier.
On the majority of occasions, the victims have realised this is a scam and have not handed over any details, but on occasions, victims have been conned out of a substantial amount of money.
Det Chf Insp Tim Bower said: “West Mercia Police take these scams extremely seriously. The scammers will often target those who are elderly and vulnerable, having a hugely detrimental impact even if they are unsuccessful in obtaining money. The scammers will try a number of different tactics and we’d ask you to share the following advice, particularly with any elderly friends or relatives.
“Never hand out any personal details over the phone. Remember that the genuine police or the banks, would never ask for your PIN, ask you to transfer money to them or send a courier to collect your cards.
“If you do receive a call like this please hang up immediately and call 101 from a different phone. If there is a crime in progress, please call 999.”