Police are reminding residents to be aware of a recent bogus police officer scam after the actions of a vigilant taxi driver foiled an attempt to defraud a 94-year-old woman of £2,500.
The woman from Sudbury was called last Tuesday by a man who purported to be a detective constable from Hammersmith in London.
The caller informed the victim that one of her bank accounts had been cleared out and another had money removed from it. She was told take all the remaining money out of the account and send it in a taxi to Hammersmith Police Station.
The victim made an appointment with her bank and £2,500 was withdrawn and put into a taxi.
The taxi driver had concerns over the package and decided to take it to Sudbury Police Station and report it to officers, who confirmed it was a scam. The money was returned to the victim and officers explained what had happened.
Police have been in contact with taxi firms to make them aware of this scam and are grateful for the actions of this driver.
last Monday an 84-year-old man from Newmarket contacted police after receiving a similar call from a man purporting to be from the fraud scam.
The caller claimed he was investigating suspicious activity on the victim’s account and advised him to go to his bank at 2pm the next day and withdraw £500, which could then be given to the suspect.
The victim was suspicious of the caller and told him he could only go to the bank at 10am, at which point the caller hung up the phone.
Officers are urging residents to be extremely careful when dealing with any unknown callers and to NEVER to give out personal information or to hand over cards or money in these circumstances.
In carrying out scams such as this, it is thought that the offenders leave the telephone line open, so when the victims believe they have hung up to make another call to either the police or their bank, they are in fact still on the line to the criminals who made the original call.
Anyone with information about these crimes, or any similar incidents, is asked to contact Suffolk Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Please remember the following, and please alert older family members and friends to the tricks the scammers can use -
Your bank or the police will never ask for your PIN, bank card or bank account details over the phone – never give these details out.
The police will never call you and ask you to withdraw money from your account, and will never ask you to handover bank cards, to give to a courier or taxi driver, regardless of how convincing the caller may seem.
If you receive such a call leave the landline for at least five minutes to make an outside call. Fraudsters will keep the line open and have been known to play ring tones, hold music and a recorded message down the phone so the victim believes they are making a call to a legitimate number.
Use a friend’s or neighbour’s telephone instead.
Friends, family, carers and neighbours are asked to spread the word to ensure everyone is aware of this scam and not to give out personal details.