Hampshire Constabulary is warning residents to remain vigilant following a recent spate of scams involving fraudsters obtaining bank details, cards and cash using bogus telephone calls and couriers.
Whilst the specific crime was not in town, Andover Police have warned previously about crimes “coming this way” on Twitter.
On Sunday, October 27 a call was received by an 80-year-old woman living in Fleet by a man claiming to be a police officer from the Metropolitan Police.
She was told that her bank card had been used by somebody that they had in custody and was asked to phone the bank to cancel her card.
The victim was also warned not to tell anyone or the investigation could be compromised and she may find herself going to court for committing a criminal offence.
During the following days she was told to withdraw large sums of money from her account and hand the money to a courier who would call at her address to collect it.
Detective Constable Graham Robson from Aldershot CID said: “We want to warn residents that these requests are not genuine and that no police officer or bank would operate in this manner. Anyone who receives a suspicious call is urged not to give any details to the caller and report the matter to the police immediately.”
“Any courier companies or taxi drivers that may have been asked to pick up such packages in the area are also urged to call Aldershot CID.”
“This is the first offence of this nature that we have been made aware of in Hampshire but there have been similar incidents reported in Surrey.”
“Offences like this are particularly appalling as the suspects deliberately target elderly and vulnerable members of the community.”
“If you have elderly relatives, friends or neighbours please make them aware of this scam and remind them not to give any details to unexpected callers. Remain alert and if you see them being approached by unexpected visitors please check who they are and ensure they are a legitimate caller.”
People are reminded to protect themselves using the following advice:
- Never give out any personal information about your bank account to anybody over the phone.
- If someone calls claiming to be a police officer, ask for their identification number and police force. Hang up the call and advise that you will call them back using the 101 number. A genuine police officer will not mind waiting while you check.
- If you have given out information which could compromise your bank account security in any way, call your bank up to cancel your cards as soon as possible.
- Never hand over money to someone at the door to be sent off elsewhere.
- If someone comes to your door claiming to be a police officer or staff member, always ask for identification and make a note of their identification number. Ask them to wait while you verify their identity. Close the door and call 101.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Det Con Robson at Aldershot police station by phoning 101. Mini-Com users can call the police on 18001 101. Information can be given anonymously by calling the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111