Feb 052014
 

Be wise to bank scam

This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Alert. This information has been sent on behalf of Nottinghamshire Police

Message sent by

Liz Webster (Nottinghamshire Police, Corporate Communication, Nottinghamshire)

Fraudsters are banking on the vulnerability of elderly residents to steal thousands of pounds.

The disturbing scam which saw 17 people fall victim to thieves last summer has re-emerged in Nottinghamshire.

The latest incident occurred on Sunday 2 February 2014 when an 82-year-old Beeston man was duped into handing over his bank details and cards.

The victim was called by the fraudsters, claiming to be from his bank and the police, to inform him they had a suspect in custody over fraud committed on his account.

The victim was asked for his pin number and then told a courier would be sent to collect his bank cards which were needed in London for tests. A courier then collected the cards and used the pin number to take money from his account.

The scam is being carried out by organised crime gangs up and down the country who are estimated to have conned people into handing over around £12 million since 2011.

DI Marcus Oldroyd said: “This is a highly sophisticated and believable scam that unfortunately has been used on several vulnerable members of our community.

“The victims, believing they were acting to support the work of the bank and police to stop a criminal, were unwittingly becoming a target themselves.

“We need to raise awareness of these gangs and the tactics they are using to elicit money to ensure that others don’t fall into the same trap.

“In no circumstances give out your bank details over the phone. If necessary hang up and call a bank back to ensure you know who you are speaking to.

“Please share this information with your families and vulnerable neighbours and friends and ensure that you are aware of the different tactics these gangs use.”

Other tactics used by the gangs:

  • Someone calls the victim claiming to be from their bank’s fraud team, however, they do not state the name of the bank
  •  They convince the victim that they could help the fraud team root out a corrupt bank cashier by withdrawing a large amount of cash – often thousands of pounds at a time – from the bank
  • The caller warns the victim not to tell anyone at the branch they make the withdrawal from as this will ruin the investigation
  • When the money has been withdrawn the victim is told to meet with a courier either at their home address or another location
  • The victim is told the courier will then take the money to the police or other body to have it examined as potentially being counterfeit – this does not happen.

The slightly altered tactics used last year are still in use:

  • The victim is called from someone saying they are a member of the fraud team from the victim’s bank, a police officer or a shop owner who says that the victim’s bank card has been discovered being used by a detained criminal
  • The suspect then asks the victim to hang up and call their bank, however, the suspect does not hang up the phone and leaves the line open
  • The victim dials the number for the bank but the suspect has remained on the other end of the phone and takes the call, convincing them that they are the bank’s fraud team
  • The victim is then asked to input their PIN number into the phone keypad which is captured by the suspect who is using a decoder which converts the keytones into the respective numbers
  • The suspect then says that the card has been compromised and will need examining immediately
  • A local taxi firm or one of the suspects is despatched to the victim’s address where they collect the card and deliver it to the suspect’s where it is used immediately.

The average loss to a victim is £4,000.

Neither your bank or the police will ask you for your PIN or bank card.

  • Do not part with any details
  • Leave the landline on the cradle for at least five minutes before attempting to make an outside call or test the line first by phoning a friend or relative
  • Visit the local branch of your bank if you have any concerns about your account

If you think you are a victim of this scam but a supposed courier has not attended, dial 999 to help us quickly apprehend the offenders.

If you have any information about these scams contact police on 101.