The police are issuing warnings to Richmond residents after recent reports of fraudsters trying to scam elderly victims out of money.
A 73-year-old man from Twickenham was contacted by someone claiming to be ‘DC Collins’ and asked him to withdraw money for a courier to Scotland Yard on June 15.
Just before, an 82-year-old lady from Twickenham had also been contacted by a person claiming to be from Hammersmith Police on June 12.
Parm Sandhu, Richmond Borough Commander said: “These courier fraudsters put a huge amount of time and effort into being convincing because for them the pay-off is immense.
“We want people to question even truly genuine sounding calls and, most importantly, remember police and banks will never ask for your PIN or bank card, so you should never give these away and they will also never ask for money or send a courier to collect a card.
The police are urging the public to be aware of unsolicited calls from individuals claiming to be from the police or bank contacting them about fraudulent activity on their card or that it needs to be replaced.
“These fraudsters often ask victims to ring their bank or the police, however, the fraudster keeps the telephone line open so even though the person has called the number for their bank or the police, the call does not go through and they are unknowingly connected straight back to the fraudster,” added the commander.
“If you do receive such a call, hang the phone up immediately and if you have been a victim of one of these scams, please contact us so that we can investigate”.
Other variations have involved scam artists pretending to be from the Economic Crime Department informing victims their bank account has been compromised by criminals and they should transfer their balance into a ‘safe’ police account.
Other scenarios have involved bank headed letters being sent informing residents their account has been subject to fraud and they need to transfer funds to a ‘safe’ account – with most cases involving the victim providing their PIN, address and bank card.
A spokesperson from the police has said: “Please be aware that your bank will never attend your home, your bank and the police will never collect your bank card and your bank and the police will never ask for your PIN.”
In an emergency dial 999. Please ensure that the line is clear and has a dialling tone before ringing.