I’ve just had warning from the excellent WMNow system (you can sign up here – it’s free and very useful) that there’s a very concerning new phone scam in operation locally I think readers should be aware of – and will be wanting to warn their elderly and vulnerable friends, family and neighbours about.
West Midlands Police wrote:
There have been another two scam phone calls to elderly residents in the Streetly area.
The person receives a call from a male who says they are a Police Officer and they have a male in custody who says they are the person’s Grandson.
The scammer says this male is using the elderly persons bank cards. They then request money from the elderly person by asking for bank details or requesting they draw the money from the bank and send another officer to collect the money.
THE POLICE WILL NOT CONTACT ANYONE AND REQUEST MONEY FROM OR ASK YOU FOR YOUR BANK DETAILS. IF YOU OR YOUR ELDERLY RELATIVE RECEIVE ONE OF THESE CALLS PLEASE CONTACT THE POLICE.
- Listen to your instinct: just because someone knows your basic details, such as your name and address, it doesn’t mean they are genuine.
- Stay in control: always question cold callers: always contact the companies directly using a known email or phone number.
- Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision: a legitimate company will be prepared to wait whilst you verify information.
If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to 1 on 101 Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Visit Take Five (takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/) and Cyber Aware (cyberaware.gov.uk) for more information about how to protect yourself online.
Please tell your relatives and neighbours about this scam, and impress upon them how important it is not to give away dpersonal details on the phone to cold callers. If in doubt, get details, call companies back and have someone else check them out before making any kind of payment for anything.
Explain that no official body will turn up at your door or call you demanding money – least of all the police.
Please, if you have any further information relating to this con please contact West Midlands Police by dialling 101 (999 in an emergency, obviously) or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.