Police are urging residents not to give out personal banking information and never to hand over bank cards after two scams were reported to officers within minutes.
At 8.30pm on March 4 police were contacted by a man in Ipswich who said that in the past hour he and several family members had been conned out of thousands of pounds.
The householder had taken a call from someone claiming to work for a bank who advised that someone had tried to take money from his account.
The householder called a number that was supposedly for his bank and gave details of everyone in the family who banked online, including their passwords.
Just two minutes later police took another call from a 93-year-old woman who reported that about 8pm she had taken a call from a man claiming to be a police officer at Holborn in London, who told her to ring the number on her bank card.
She did this and was told that someone was coming to collect her bank cards.
A foreign male then arrived at her address and she handed the cards over.
It is thought both of these are scams and were as a result of the offenders leaving the telephone line open – so the residents thought they were speaking to the relevant bank when really they were still on line to the criminals who made the original call.
Police are currently speaking with both victims and are making enquiries.
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.
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.
For all the latest news see Thursday’s (March 13) Echo.