Lincolnshire Police are highlighting a recent case in Keelby where a woman was contacted by fraudsters who scammed her out of £5,000.
The incident was reported to police on Monday August 3rd after the victim, a woman aged in her 70s, was contacted on her phone by a man claiming to be from the fraud squad at Hammersmith Police in London. He told the lady that money in her bank account was at risk of fraud and she should freeze her account. She was directed not to tell anyone any of the details about the situation, and to go to her bank and withdraw cash, a total of £5,000, and then take it home again. The victim was told by the caller that a security man would then come to her home, give her a code that he had given her, and then take the money away for safekeeping. The victim followed the instructions and a man subsequently came to her home and took the money from her.
Inspector Simon Outen said: “This is an absolutely vile and cruel crime that plays on victims’ feelings of trust and worry that they are being defrauded. Most right-minded people reading these details will feel absolutely outraged and incensed at the callousness with which these scam artists are robbing people of thousands of pounds worth of cash.
“This is not the first incident of this nature that has been reported to us in recent months and every time we have a report like this we sincerely hope it is the last. The victims are in no way to blame in these types of situation, the caller on the other end of the phone has details about them which it is very easy to believe could only be obtained by honest means, but what we want is for everyone to be aware of the details of these scams so if they are approached in the future they know what to do.
“Please remember that no genuine caller from a bank or similar organisation will call you and ask you to reveal details over the phone, nor will they ask you to withdraw money and hand it over. If you are unsure of a caller’s identity then ask them for a contact name and number to ring them back and then check that with a number you already have for your bank, or whichever organisation they are claiming to be from. If you are contacted by someone claiming to be a police officer take their details and then contact that Police Force’s control room to check to see if they are who they claim to be. The golden rule really is that if you are unsure then do not act on any instructions they are giving you.
“In addition, if you have anything like this happen to you then please report it to police as soon as possible with as much detail as possible. The more intelligence we have the bigger picture we can build up and the better chance we have of catching these criminals.
“My heart really does go out to the victim in this case and to the many others, not just in Lincolnshire, who will have fallen victim to a similar fraud. I would appeal to the criminals involved to consider how they would feel if this happened to someone they cared about? But the sadness is that they have no compassion or consideration for others so the best way we can combat them is to try and ensure even more people know about their scams and will not become victims.”
• If you have experienced anything like this please contact Lincolnshire Police as soon as possible on 101.