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Warning issued after elderly people targeted by fraudsters in the New Forest

Alert message sent 31/08/2017 17:30:00

Information sent on behalf of Hampshire Constabulary

We are reminding people to be extra vigilant following a report of bogus phone calls from people pretending to be police officers.

One resident, aged in their 80s, has been conned out of thousands of pounds recently in the Lymington area of the New Forest. 

A person purporting to be a police officer has called at the homes of residents and asked them to withdraw money to assist them with an ‘investigation.’

They spin a web of lies by telling residents that they have been a victim of fraud and money in their bank has been replaced with counterfeit money by criminals they have in custody. The ‘police officer’ tells them he needs the money as evidence for their investigation and tells them to go to their bank to withdraw the cash, before sending someone to their home address to pick it up.

The callers have been very convincing, advising residents that they need the money as the criminals are in custody and telling them not to tell bank staff when questioned, instructing them to lie and say that the large withdrawal is for a car.

Residents have been asked to withdraw more than £8000 in cash in a single transaction.

The fraudster then arranges a person to collect the money from their home address either later that day or in a few days’ time stating that genuine money would be put back into the account upon receipt of the counterfeit notes.

Banks also have a protocol to challenge customers and raise the alarm when large sums are taken out in suspicious circumstances.

Detective Constable Adam Knight said: “Sadly, this type of incident is becoming all too common and scammers can make large sums of money daily.

“They will weave a web of stories and can be very convincing. However, no matter how believable they sound we would like to remind people that we, the police, would never call you and ask for money.

“A genuine police officer or any official would never ask a member of the public for money in this way. If someone calls you saying they are a police officer and asks you for money, hang up.

“If you want to check whether they are genuine police officer, ask for their name and collar number, hang up and call 101 to check they are genuine. Wait until you hear a dial tone to make the call, or use a different phone, such as a mobile.

“Please contact any elderly or vulnerable friends or relatives you may know to make them aware of this scam and remind them not to give any details to unexpected callers."

• We are reminding people to protect themselves by using the following advice:
• Never give personal or bank account details to anyone who contacts you unexpectedly
• Never tell anyone your PIN number
• If you have given out information which could compromise your bank security in any way, call your bank to cancel your cards as soon as possible
• Never hand over your card, money or valuables to someone at the door to be sent off elsewhere
• Anyone who is concerned about similar incident should contact police by calling 101. If a crime is in progress, please call 999.

-Ends-

Message sent by
Jack Backwell (Police, Corporate Communications Officer, Hampshire Corporate Communications)

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