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Cornwall Targeted in Bogus Police Scam

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2:01pm 13th June 2014

 Some Cornish residents are being scammed out of their life savings.

People posing as officers have been conning victims out of money, in a bogus scam known as 'courier fraud'.

They trick residents into giving out money and their bank details, claiming to be from the Metropolitan police.

It is after a 70 year old woman from Helston was defrauded of £130, 000.

We are being urged to be on our guard and to come forward if we have experienced it.

Superintendent John green said: "These people are not turning up on the doorstep, they are actually phoning, the police service do not do that, the police will never ask for your bank details over the phone, no bank would do this either, we are saying to everybody you should never disclose your bank details to anybody.

"This is life savings, people have worked all their days to save this money and it can be a totally traumatic experience for them, I would say to families, to communities, to children, tell people about this, tell them never to give our their bank details across the phone to anybody.

“This is a national problem which has reached our Force area and particularly west Cornwall in the last couple of weeks.

“This is a despicable and heartless fraud with the offenders targeting elderly and vulnerable people who are trusting and willing to help who they think are bona fide police officers.”
“We are urging the public, particularly older people, to be aware of this fraud and not to go along with it. Genuine police would not phone members of the public in this way and certainly would never ask you for your bank details or ask you to send money.
“Because of the nature of the fraud and the vulnerable victims involved it is believed this offence is currently under-reported, therefore we would urge the public to come forward and tell us if they have been contacted by these people.
“We appeal to members of the public, banks and taxi drivers to be on their guard and report any suspicious activity of this nature to the police immediately.”

Devon and Cornwall Police said: "At least five residents have been targeted in Helston this week with one woman in her 70s being defrauded of £130,000 and a couple in their 80s losing £15,000. In other instances, the householders suspected fraud and put the phone down.

Devon and Cornwall Police has recorded almost 100 of these offences since last December, particularly in Torbay and south and north Devon.
In many cases a person claiming to be a police officer from the Metropolitan Police will contact an elderly or vulnerable victim by telephone and inform them that their bank card has been used fraudulently."

If you receive a phone call of this nature, police advise you to:

1. End the phone call immediately. Wait at least five minutes to clear the line from the scammer before making any other calls, or use another phone.

2. Report the offence as soon as possible to police by telephoning 101.

Please remember:

3. Your bank will never attend your home.

4. Your bank and the police will never collect your bank card or cash

5. Your bank and the police will never ask for your PIN.

2:01pm 13th June 2014

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