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LUCKY ESCAPE: Two Northwood residents nearly taken in by phone scammers

 Published on: 5th May 2022   |   By: News Bulletin   |   Category: Uncategorized

Two Northwood residents were very nearly victims of a phone scam going around the area currently, committed by fraudsters posing as police officers.

One was asked by the scammers to transfer £157,000 to the bank account of a jewellers in order to purchase a watch. When real officers spoke to the retailer, they had no knowledge of any such transaction.

The retailer also made police aware of a purchase made for £20,000 that also turned out to be fraudulent. Fortunately, both transactions were able to be halted, and all money was returned to the would-be victims.

Some residents in Hertfordshire were not so lucky. Two victims last April were also phoned by fraudsters pretending to be police and were asked to hand over their bank cards and money to a courier. As a result, an elderly person has now been defrauded out of £6,000.

Detective Inspector Pete Hankins, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Serious Fraud and Cyber Unit, said: “This crime type has evolved over time. Criminals involved in courier fraud may still ask victims to withdraw cash or hand over their bank card and PIN however we are increasingly dealing with reports where victims have been asked to purchase high value items such as gold bars and watches which are then collected by a courier.

“It’s important to re-iterate that police officers or bank officials will never ask you for sensitive information, like a PIN or ask you to purchase high value items to assist them with an enquiry.

“Usually the intended victim realises the call is not genuine and refuses to part with their personal and bank details. However, these fraudsters can be very persuasive and insistent, which has resulted in some people falling victim to this scam and subsequently losing thousands of pounds.”

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