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Warning as two elderly Bexley residents lose thousands in phone scam

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 January 2020

Police stock. Picture: Met Police

Police stock. Picture: Met Police

Archant

Two vulnerable Bexley residents have fallen foul of a growing phone scam, and have parted with thousands of pounds.

Bexley Trading Standards officers said they are now looking to raise awareness of the sophisticated con that sounds so plausible. People can be easily taken in if they don't have their wits about them.

It has recently affected two elderly people in Bexley - each paid out more than £4,000 to the criminals involved.

Trading Standards said both had received a phone call from someone claiming to be from Hammersmith police station investigating bank fraud.

They were both told to draw out large sums of money. One victim was told this was to help with police investigations, the other was told to withdraw the money so it could be put in a safe account.

They were both told not to tell anyone about the call and in particular not to tell the bank staff why they were drawing money out.

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On returning home from the bank the victims then received another call and within minutes a man was on their doorstep collecting the money. The team have also been made aware of previous similar incidents where people have given over their cards and pins.

Trading Standards said: "It is important to know that the police would never ask you to withdraw money or hand over your card or pin.

"Please make your older relatives and friends aware of this scam.

"If you are not happy with a phone call and are suspicious of the conversation you have with the caller then please end the call and report it to the police using 101. In an emergency always call 999.

"Remember, when reporting a suspicious phone call to the police to wait five minutes before attempting to make the call to ensure you are not reconnected to the offender as phone lines can be kept open."

Similar frauds have recently been reported in Dartford and Medway where thousands of pounds were stolen.

Anyone affected by this kind of crime or are aware of anyone that has been a victim can contact Action Fraud 0300 123 2040.

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