Police are warning members of the public to be vigilant to a telephone scam urging victims to transfer money out of their bank accounts.
It follows an incident where a woman in her 60s from Southwold was targeted and had in excess of £200,000 worth of savings taken fraudulently.
Victims are contacted by someone purporting to be from the fraud department associated to their bank and makes claims that their account/s are being targeted by rouge bank employees. They also claim that such ‘rogue employees’ are currently being internally investigated, but to safeguard the victims money they need to transfer their savings out of their account into an apparent 'safe' account/s'.
The fraudulent callers will apply a time pressure and the need to supposedly keep secret the transfers out of the account. The victim is either asked to make instant transfers online or to go to their local branch to carry out the necessary transfers. During the phone call the victim is guided on the mobile phone what they should and should not say to others especially bank staff.
DC Joanne Smith from Safeguarding and Investigations said: "The fraudulent caller will sound very convincing, and claims to know the banks procedures and even information about the victims account to gain their trust. The fraudulent caller may also build the trust over a couple of days before asking to make the transfers as well as providing genuine telephone numbers and passwords that will correspond to the legitimate bank / building society. Some fraudsters have the ability to mask their telephone number so what appears on the caller display conveys the impression it is a genuine phone number."
Residents should remember the following:
Your bank or the police will never ask you to withdraw money or purchase items
Your bank or the police will never ask for your PIN, bank card or bank account details over the phone – never give these details out
If the victim has any concerns about what the caller is asking then they should end the call and report to their branch and or fraud department.
Never download any software suggested by caller.
Do not rush into complying to the scammers demands / requests. If you receive such a call leave the landline for at least five minutes to make an outside call. Fraudsters will keep the line open and have been known to play ring tones, hold music and a recorded message down the phone so the victim believes they are making a call to a legitimate number.
Use a friend or neighbour’s telephone instead.
Friends, family, carers and neighbours are asked to spread the word to ensure everyone is aware of this scam and what they should do
For advice on keeping yourself safe against scams, please visit: https://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/crime-prevention-z.
For more information on this type of crime do visit: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/news/alert-fraudsters-claiming-to-be-from-hmrc-jun17
Alternatively, report incidents of fraud to Action Fraud using their online reporting tool http://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 1232040.
You can also sign up to the Trading Standards weekly email alert on rogues and scams targeting Suffolk at www.suffolk.gov.uk/JoinTheFight.
Help us keep our communities safe.
Police advice on a variety of subjects can be accessed via https://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice
To report something, or to otherwise contact Police, use the link http://www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us
To report something anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org
Alternatively call 101 for non-urgent matters.
Always call 999 in emergencies, or if an immediate police response is required.
Police Connect Team