Elderly residents fall victim to ‘credit card fraud’ scam after receiving call from ‘police officer’
Several reports of elderly people in a Leicestershire village being defrauded have prompted a police warning. Seven victims aged 71 to 89 were falsely contacted by a supposed “police officer” to say their bank cards had been cloned.
The incidents have targeted victims from the Hinckley area, with reports flooding into Leicestershire Police since March 1. One unsuspecting victim even suffered a mini-stroke due to the stress of the incident.
Fraudsters are said to be pretending to be London area officers, pressuring their targets to buy high value jewelery or gold to verify the cards have not been compromised. The suspects then arranged for the jewelry to be collected by a courier.
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However, due to the intervention of the banks, four of the seven victims did not hand over any goods. A spokesman for the force said the fraudsters seemed “very plausible”, asking victims to keep their correspondence secret – triggering a public warning.
Nicole McIntyre, of the force’s economic crime unit, said: ‘These types of offenses are crimes without borders, those responsible do not necessarily target victims in their own region but across the country. We work closely with forces across the country to ensure that any intelligence identified during investigations is shared. A number of warnings have been issued about these crimes, but we know that not everyone has access to social media or the internet, so we are asking the public to help us by telling their neighbors or loved ones about these offences.”
The force pointed to the physical and mental damage caused to the elderly victims who are coerced by the fraudsters. In some cases, the victims were contacted and informed of an attempt to fraudulently access their bank account.
She added: ‘They should be told that the police would never contact them in this way. If called, they should disconnect the call immediately and report the incident to the police using another phone, as in some cases calls may remain connected.
“Sometimes suspects use local taxi or courier companies, who unknowingly accept the job. We ask people to remain vigilant and if they are contacted to collect parcels, be careful who they collect them from if they have any suspicions to report them immediately to the police.
Further information on these offenses can be found at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/az-of-fraud/courier-fraud.