Urgent warning from police as residents fall victim to costly scam
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North Yorkshire Police is warning residents to be extra vigilant after a number of reports since Christmas where victims have lost thousands of pounds to a well-known courier fraud scam.
Victims are contacted by phone from someone claiming to be an officer from the Metropolitan Police in London. The victim is informed that a relative has been arrested attempting to use their card to purchase a laptop or similar and as a result their bank account is under threat.
The victim is then instructed to attend their bank and withdraw all their money in order for a police officer to attend their home address (the courier) who will take their money for ‘safe keeping’.
They may also be told their assistance is needed in the police investigation and in order to do this, they need to withdraw money from their account.
The fraudsters will go to extra lengths to convince their victims that the call is genuine, telling them to call 999 to verify what they’re saying is true. They do this by not clearing the phone line so when the individual thinks they are hanging up and calling the police, they are actually still on the phone to the fraudsters.
North Yorkshire Police Financial Abuse Safeguarding Officer, Andy Fox, said:
“This scam has been claiming victims for far too long and the fraudsters are becoming increasingly manipulative in their tactics. They will tell victims that there is an undercover police operation and that they must not say anything to the bank so they’re told to lie.
“They withdraw their money, often tens of thousands of pounds, and the fraudster posing as a police officer will then attend their home to collect the money.
“If you receive a call like this, don’t even think about it, just hang up. Remember, the police will NEVER ask you to withdraw or transfer cash to assist in a police investigation.
“We need to stop people falling victim to this awful scam so please tell as many people as possible about it and be extremely vigilant.”