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Case Studies

Scam advice heeded

Do not be taken in by a trend of phone callers posing as police officers or bank staff and asking for bank and card details – and for access to the cards, say police. Wednesday, April 16 saw there were nine attempts reported in Sussex, but in only one was any money obtained. Calls were made to four residents in Bognor and five in Brighton. In eight cases the residents became suspicious and did not part with any information or money.

In the ninth case a woman in Brighton gave her bank and card details and handed her cards over to a courier at the door, together £200 cash – but police were then informed and the cards were cancelled before they could be used. There had been a recent rise in this crime across the force area, and elsewhere in the country, although the trend has slackened recently, according to the police.

The fraudsters call the intended victim claiming to be from the police or a bank. They tell them that their card details have been fraudulently used and that they need to act urgently to protect themselves. They suggest that they hang up and ring the bank or police back to ensure that the call is genuine.

Don’t be fooled – they stay on the line and pretend to be the police or the bank. They then tell the intended victim to key in or read out their PIN number.
They will then send a taxi or courier, who may know nothing about the crime, to collect the bank card. With this and the PIN they will then have full access to spend your money.

Detective Inspector Jim McKnight said: “Under no circumstances would the police or your bank request your pin number over the telephone or arrange collection of your bank cards from your home address in this manner.

“It is good that many people are already heeding our advice and we urge anyone hearing about this scam to pass it the message on to any friends and relatives who may not be aware of this particular type of targeted fraud, to prevent any vulnerable friends or family members from becoming victims. .

“Never give out your bank details to someone who has contacted you on your home phone unsolicited. If you have any suspicions please do not use the phone you have just been called on to contact the police or your bank. If possible use another phone to contact the police to report it, or to contact a friend to relative to alert them.

“We want to encourage everyone to continue to resist these callers, so if you have any information, whether you have received similar calls or know someone who has been a victim of this crime, contact Sussex Police via 101 or email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk quoting Operation Edisto. You can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

For on-line advice on fraud prevention, go to http://www.sussex.police.uk/help-centre/ask-us/fraud,-scams-and-financial-issues/what-can-i-do-to-prevent-fraud

The ‘Little Book Of Big Scams’ also gives advice on how to prevent a wide variety of frauds – http://www.sussex.police.uk/media/480981/sussex_police_the_little_book_of_big_scams_online_22.03.13.pdf


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