Bedford’s elderly are targeted by increasing number of phone fraudsters

Older person phone hoax

Bedfordshire Police has warned residents about telephone scammers targeting the elderly, following three incidents in the county.

Several elderly Bedfordshire residents have been targeted in the last 48 hours by fraudsters posing as police officers, with one victim conned into paying suspects £5,000.

In two further incidents, the transactions were recognised as fraud and halted.

Detective Sergeant Ben Stone, investigating, said, “Unfortunately we have seen a fresh wave of this cruel hoax, which occasionally rears its ugly head to dupe vulnerable people out of large sums of money.

“I’d like to remind people to always be vigilant with personal details or banking information and remember that a police officer or indeed a bank would never ask for transactions such as this to be carried out over a cold call.

“Of course we are working together with Action Fraud to report and investigate these incidents, and I would call upon all residents reading this advice to share this information with their elderly neighbours and relatives to help protect them from these scammers.

“If you or they suspect a scam is taking place or you feel vulnerable, hang up, wait five minutes to clear the line, or where possible use a different telephone line, to call police or Action Fraud to report the incident.”

Telephone fraud advice

A police officer or bank will never:

– Ask for your personal financial information over the phone
– Invite you to make purchases either over the phone, online or in person
– Ask you to move money from your account
– Collect or arrange to collect money from your address
– Instruct you not to tell anyone about what they are asking you to do, or instruct you to lie to other officials about what you are doing
– Remember to always check the caller’s credentials.

Older person phone hoaxIf you take a call from someone who you believe is not genuine, hang up, and contact either Action Fraud or the police. Where possible use a different phone to make the call in case the fraudulent caller is still on the line.
If you do give your details to someone who you later believe is not credible, it’s important that you contact the bank immediately.
If you have any information or would like to report a crime, please call 101, or use our online reporting tool.

If you suspect you have been a victim of fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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