PEOPLE in Yeovil are being warned of a scam bogus police officers and bank workers calling up and persuading people to provide bank card details before sending ‘couriers’ to collect the cards.
Two women in Bristol, one in Kingswood and one in Weston-super-Mare have been targeted in the past week, with other incidents previously reported across the Avon and Somerset area, including Burnham-on-Sea and Yeovil.
A woman from Filwood Park reported having received a call from someone claiming to be from the Metropolitan Police’s fraud squad on Wednesday 26 March. She provided bank card information and gave the cards to a taxi that had been sent to collect them. A substantial amount of cash has since been withdrawn from her accounts.
The same day an 88-year-old woman in Kingswood had a similar call, this time claiming to be from ‘Visa Card Fraud Investigation’. She was persuaded to hand over her bank cards and PIN to someone who called to collect them in a taxi. Again cash has been taken from her accounts.
A woman from Bishopsworth told us she had a similar call on Thursday 27 March, but before handing over her bank cards, she became suspicious and contacted police.
A 74-year-old woman from Weston-super-Mare was also contacted on Thursday and asked to withdraw cash vouchers to facilitate a PPI claim. After she spoke to her family, no money was handed over and we were called.
Fraud investigator Barrie Douglas of Avon and Somerset Police’s Serious Crime Group, said: “We’re seeing two different types of offence at the moment: one where criminals are posing as Met police officers to persuade victims to withdraw large amounts of cash and hand it over to a ‘courier’, usually a taxi; and one where they’re pretending to be bank fraud officers who need victims’ bank card details, including their PINs, and who also send ‘couriers’ to collect the cards.
“Our message to people is simple – if you’re on the receiving end of any of these sorts of phone calls, hang up and report the call to us on 101 but ensure you have a proper dialling tone on your phone or use a different phone.
“Remember, no legitimate caller will ever ask you for banking details or PIN numbers. Likewise, they would never send a so-called ‘courier’ to collect bank cards or money.”