Police are looking for a man who tried to con thousands of pounds from an elderly victim yesterday afternoon.
The fraudster, purporting to be a police officer from the Metropolitan police Serious Fraud Department , telephoned the 85-year-old from Stroud, instructing him to attend his local bank and withdraw £8,500 in cash.
The fraudster later phoned the victim again and told him that the banknotes were counterfeit, and that he was sending a police ‘courier’ to collect them.
But when the courier vehicle arrived, officers believe the driver spotted CCTV cameras outside the house and drove away without taking the victim’s money.
It is the latest in a series of scams currently being reported in Stroud.
Earlier in the week, two people from the town reported that they had been telephoned by a man claiming to be a Met Police Detective Inspector who had attempted to obtain their bank card details.
Thankfully in these two reported cases both people were not tricked.
Gloucestershire Constabulary is urging people to make their elderly friends, relatives and neighbours aware that this is happening.
The tricksters often ask the person they have called to hang up and dial 999 to confirm they are a police officer, however they leave the phone line open and you end up talking to the same person, or someone working with them.
Fraudsters often choose a dialling code and target one area with numerous phone calls for a number of days before moving on to another location.
Anyone who receives a similar call should hang up the phone and do not follow their instructions.
• Neither police nor bank officials will ever ask you to assist them in an investigation, withdraw money from your account, purchase anything or hand over your personal details or passwords.
• If you believe you are being targeted by a scammer hang up the phone and use a different phone line to call Action Fraud or the police, as scammers have a way to stay on the line and will pretend to be the police when you call back.
• If you don’t have access to a different phone line, wait for a period of time and try calling a family member or friend first to make sure the scammer is no longer on the line.
• Just because someone knows basic details about you like your address or date of birth, it doesn’t mean they are genuine bank or police employees.
• Always question suspicious phone calls and report them to Action Fraud or the police.