Fraudsters claiming to be calling from a bank stole a large part of a Northamptonshire man’s savings after they tricked him into transferring his money into a different account.
Northamptonshire Police has issued a warning about ongoing phone scams following the latest incident in the county in which fraudsters called a man claiming to be from his bank and appeared to have knowledge of recent transactions on his account.
They told him he had “too much money” in his account which would not be covered should the bank go bust.
The fraudsters advised him to transfer money into three new savings accounts they had set up for him and he was told to go to his local branch and transfer money into the new accounts.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Behan is concerned that this type of fraud is increasing. He wants people to be aware of the tricks fraudsters use and is urging people never to part with cash or make any bank transfers following a phone call.
He said: “We’ve seen a number of variations of phone frauds in recent months, but in all cases the fraudsters claim to be from a trusted organisation.
“In this case, they claimed to be from the victim’s bank and it would appear they had access to his account as they were able to confirm recent transactions. All in all, it was a very sophisticated and convincing scam which unfortunately led the victim to transfer a large part of his savings into the bogus accounts.
“Please be aware that banks will never contact customers and ask for personal details or ask them to transfer money into new accounts and neither will police officers or fraud investigators.
“I urge anyone who gets such a call to hang up immediately and report it to the police, ideally using another phone if you can or waiting a few minutes just in case the fraudster tries to keep the line open.”
Other variations of phone fraud include scammers encouraging people to give them their bank details and PIN, or hand over cash or bank cards to a ‘courier’. Another is known as ‘number spoofing’, where the telephone number of the organisation the fraudster wants to impersonate is cloned so that it appears on the victim’s caller ID display when they telephone them. The offender will then gain the person’s trust by drawing their attention to the number, claiming this is proof of their identity, before trying to defraud them.
DCI Behan added: “These are despicable crimes carried out by convincing fraudsters who often target older or more vulnerable people. Please remember, your bank or the police will never ask for your PIN or your bank card, nor will they ask you to withdraw or transfer money. Never share your PIN or passwords with anyone and never give your bank card or any goods you have bought as a result of a phone call to anyone who calls at your door.
“Please share this advice with friends, family and neighbours and if you suspect you have been a victim of phone fraud, please report it as soon as possible.”
Police urge people to call 999 if the crime is in action. For non-urgent incidents report to Action Fraud, the central reporting and recording system for fraud, on 0300 123 2040 or online at www.actionfraud.police.uk.