Savvy Droitwich woman thwarts telephone fraudsters

First published in News

AN elderly woman from Droitwich, was one of three women in the county to foil telephone fraudsters trying to trick them to hand over their bank details or cash.

The incident occurred on Tuesday, March 11 when a man posing as an officer from Hammersmith Police, contacted the woman, and told her that her bank card had been cloned, and she should call her bank. She refused and the man hung up.

On the same day two other women both received calls from men claiming to be from Hammersmith Police and the Metropolitan Police.

One was told that a relative had fraudulently used her bank account, but she questioned the caller and hung up. The second woman was told that a man had been arrested on suspicion of fraud after spending £700 on her debit card.

He asked her to call the number on the bank card and cancel the card, but when she did so, she recognised the voice of the man she had just spoken to.

Detective Chief Inspector Sean Paley said: “In all these cases the women involved were vigilant and became suspicious. They took the right action to prevent themselves falling victim to this scam.

“They either refused to do what the caller asked, questioned what the caller said or noticed the callers voice was the same as the one believed to be a bank employee.

“These fraudsters usually state they are a police officer from London and sound very convincing. The offender asks the person to confirm the call is genuine by terminating the conversation asking them to return the call on a 'trusted number ' such as the one on the back of their bank card.

“However, the offender keeps the line open by not replacing the receiver. When the householder dials the number, the line is still open to the offender. They elicit personal banking information from the victim, including PIN numbers and address details.

“The police are investigating all of these incidents but it is absolutely vital people are aware of what is happening and do not divulge personal or financial details to strangers who either phone them or come to their home.”

Anyone receiving a fraudulent call is asked to end it and call the police on 999 from another phone, or 101 if this it’s not the first time it’s happened. Alternatively they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org.

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