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Five people have been scammed out of almost £30,000 in Suffolk after con men and women pretended to be police officers.
The ‘elaborate’ scam has hit the area after sweeping across the Metropolitan and Essex Police Force areas.
Since August, Suffolk Police has received five reports of almost identical scams where a person calls their elderly victim, pretending they're a Police Officer.
The ‘Police Officer’ calls the victim, telling them they're from the police investigating fraud on their bank account. Sometimes they claim to be working for the victim’s bank and ask for account information including their card number, security number and PIN. If the resident becomes suspicious the offender suggests they call 999 or 101 to ask for confirmation the caller is a police officer.
The victim then calls the police, but doesn't realise that the offender hasn't hung up so goes straight through to them again. In some cases a female offender comes on the line and pretends to be working for the police control room and verifies the so-called officer’s details. The caller is then handed back to the original offender who obtains the victim's details.
In other cases, victims have been told a courier will be sent round to collect their bank card or have even been asked to go to their bank to withdraw large amounts of money which is again collected by courier.
The latest incident in Suffolk happened yesterday (Monday 16th December). A 62 year old woman living in South Ipswich was conned into withdrawing nearly £4,000 from her bank account which was collected by a courier later that day.
Community Safety Manager for Suffolk Police Alan Osborne said: "Fraudsters will try every way possible to scam money out of people and this appears to be one of the latest con tactics they are using.
"The police or banks will never ask for people’s bank account details over the phone and should anyone receive this type of call they should hang up immediately.
"We are working with banks, building societies and taxi or courier companies to raise awareness of this particular scam but we are keen to stress to those people who have elderly family members or neighbours to spread the word and talk to them about this type of crime."