Police are appealing for the public’s help following telephone money scams in the Poole area targeting people aged over 65.
The most recent incidents happened between Tuesday 3 February and Thursday 5 February. Victims were targeted over the phone with the fraudster claiming to be a police officer.
In two cases, the victims were conned into handing over thousands of pounds.
The victims targeted are all over the age of 65 years and living in the Sandbanks, Canford Cliffs and Branksome Park areas.
The eight victims, from different households, all received a phone call from a man claiming he was a police officer calling in Portsmouth. The caller told the victims that their bank accounts had been compromised and money had been withdrawn.
The offender went on to say the money could be replaced and either asked for the victim’s bank account details or requested that the victim withdrew a substantial amount of money which a courier would collect.
On one occasion, the offender persuaded a victim to withdraw and handover approximately £9000 in cash. At 1.45pm on Monday 2 February 2015, a man arrived at the victim’s address in the Wilderton Road area on a motorcycle. He was wearing a black top and black trousers but was not dressed in standard motorcycle clothing.
Detective Inspector Andrew Roberts, of Bournemouth CID, said: “I am keen to hear from anyone who may have seen the person who collected the money, in this particular incident, from the victim.
“These are heartless offenders targeting members of our community. They can also be very convincing and many victims believe they are speaking to the police.
“Some victims have asked the offender for their name and collar number which the caller has given them.
“I would like to stress that the police would never ask for anyone’s bank details over the phone and likewise, we would never ask that cash be handed to a courier.
“I would also like to make the public aware that in previous incidents, victims have hung up the phone and picked it back up to call their bank or building society but the offending caller has remained on the line and tricked the victim into thinking they are talking to a legitimate banking advisor. Anyone who receives a call, similar to these described, should not use the phone that they received the call on to phone the police but rather use a mobile or a neighbours phone.
“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 of vulnerable people to report any concerns to the police.
“These types of scams have been reported previously in other parts of Dorset and nationally.
“I strongly urge everyone to be vigilant and to 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 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 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.
DI Roberts added: “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.”
Anyone with information about such scams should call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where mobile phone tariffs may apply.