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Warning after elderly woman falls victim to fraud scam

posted 5 Nov 2012, 04:41 by Blackwater & Hawley NHW
Police are warning people of a telephone scam after an elderly woman had a substantial amount of money stolen from her bank account.

The 77-year-old woman received a phone call at her home from someone claiming to be from Barclays Bank.

The caller asked if the lady had received her new debit card, to which the victim replied that she wasn’t expecting a new card, and in any case, she banked with a different bank. However the caller said the banks had merged and the victim would need a new debit card which was being issued automatically as a result.

The caller then asked the lady to confirm her address ‘for security’ and also for the pin number of her card so it could be ‘linked with the new card’. Unfortunately the victim did give those details over the phone, believing the caller to be genuine.

The man on the phone then said that to help out the woman, a courier would call at her home to collect the old debit card, and the new card would be delivered in a few days.

In a very brazen move, a man then arrived at the woman’s home later the same day and collected the victim’s bank card.

The pensioner thought no more about the incident, until she remembered some days later that her new bank card had not arrived. She made contact with her bank to chase the card and discovered that the original caller had not been genuine.

It also emerged that more than £15,000 had been taken from her bank account in the few days since she had handed over her debit card.

The man who called to collect the bank card is described as Asian, aged in his 40s and was wearing a baseball cap.

This was a particularly audacious and unusual crime, with one of the people involved actually calling at the victim’s home. However, please never give your PIN to anyone and certainly never over the phone. No bank will ever ask you to disclose your PIN, either in person, by letter/e-mail or over the phone. If you are unsure about the caller’s identity, ask for as many details as possible and then call your bank or the company back yourself on its main number to verify that it was a genuine call. No genuine caller will ever mind you double checking that they are who they say they are, and that they are from the company they claim. If you have any concerns, please call the Police on 101.

If you’ve information about any crime, please do call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or log on to www.crimestoppers-uk.org where you can also give information anonymously. Your call is free, no one will know it was you who gave information, and you may earn a cash reward. For regular Crimestoppers updates, please follow me on twitter @HantsCrimestopp
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