A NUMBER of elderly people in Stratford have been targeted by ‘elaborate scams’ to cheat them out of hundreds of pounds, on the same day.
Three women including one in her 90s, were called up by fraudsters claiming to be from the police, warning them money from their bank accounts had been stolen.
Two of the women were instructed to go to the post office and withdraw money.
One of them was told to withdraw 4,500 euros and stay on the phone as she did so. The victim was unsure about the call and met her daughter at the post office. Her daughter took the phone and the scammers promptly hung up.
Luckily the other two women also escaped falling prey to the fraudsters.
Another victim was recently targeted by someone claiming to be from BT Open Reach who offered the man a refund because his router was slow. The resident provided his bank account details along with a copy of his driving licence and passport.
The fraudsters also set up a bitcoin account and a Weston Union account for him in an attempt to steal his money. But his bank stopped it and no money was stolen.
Police are urging the public to be wary of fraudsters pretending to be from the police or other companies and to trust their instincts.
DI Emma Wright said: “The scams are very elaborate and very convincing and cruel. If you think someone is trying to scam you, tell someone straight away. Don’t be pressured. Give yourself time to stop and think.
“Please remember the police will never contact you asking for your bank card or cash. If someone does, it’s a scam – provide no details and hand nothing over, hang up and report it immediately to Action Fraud.”
She added those asked to provide bank details over the phone by an unknown caller should hang up and wait ten minutes before making another call or call them back on a number provided by the company website.
www.actionfraud.police.uk for more information and advice.