Bromley Police are reissuing their warning regarding frauds targeting the elderly and vulnerable after a recent increase in these offences across Bromley, with one resident losing her £26,000 life savings.
Elderly residents have been receiving unsolicited telephone calls from fraudsters purporting to be from the police fraud squad or their bank. The fraudster will state that there is an ongoing investigation into fraudulent payments on their bank account/card.
The person will be asked to ring the police/bank back using the phone number printed on the back of their bank card or by calling 999. This helps to convince the person that the call is genuine. However, the fraudster has kept the telephone line open so even though the person has dialled a number, the call does not go through. Instead they are unknowingly still connected with the fraudster.
The victim is asked to provide their full bank card details and key in their PIN so that their existing card can be “cancelled” and a new one “activated” or “authorised.” The fraudster will then explain that the bank will need to collect the card. The fraudster will then attend the person’s address or send an innocent courier company driver to collect the card. The fraudster, having obtained the person’s name, address, full bank details, the card itself and the PIN, then used the card to empty the victim’s bank account.
Fraudsters have also pretended to be from the police cold calling members of the public claiming to be from the Economic Crime Department and that the person’s bank account has been compromised by criminals. The fraudster suggests that the person should withdraw the money for collection by a police representative for safekeeping until the investigation was complete.
Detective Inspector Louise Knipe from Bromley Police said: “If you receive such a call end it immediately. The police will never ask you for any money, either to assist with an investigation, or for safekeeping. Your bank will never attend your home, your bank and the police will never collect your bank card, your bank and the police will never ask for your PIN. If you do receive any call that you are suspicious about, please speak with a younger family member or relative before giving out any details or withdrawing any money and also contact the police”.