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Fraudsters targeting elderly Barrow residents

[C]umbria police are warning about a scam after elderly residents in Barrow are targeted by fraudsters.

Two incidents have taken place this week whereby the victims have been convinced they should hand money over to the offenders.

An 81-year-old woman was called on her home phone on Tuesday afternoon (April 26th) by a man purporting to be from Scotland Yard Police.

The man told the victim that her bank was subject to a scam and that her money was not safe in her account.

The woman was instructed to go to the bank and withdraw £5,100. This money was then collected from the victim’s home address by a male.

Yesterday (April 27th) an elderly couple were also called by a man purporting to be a police officer from Scotland Yard and claiming to be investigating money laundering and bank fraud at their bank.

The man instructed the 88-year-old female to withdraw £9,400 claiming it is not safe in the bank and instructed the 73-year-old male victim to transfer £5,420 into a bank account named by the male.

He later attended the property to collect the money but the female refused to hand it to him.

The suspect male attending the house in the second incident has been described as Asian ethnicity, approx 5`10, with a trimmed beard, wearing a wooly hat, casual clothes and an olive green coat.

Detective Sergeant John Dilks said: “These were elaborate cases of fraud and the fraudster(s) were clearly very convincing.

“They gave information including a name, collar number, warrant ID and crime reference. They persuaded the victims to call 999 to verify these details, but the man stayed on the phone keeping the line live and used a female accomplice to pretend the victims had got through to the police.

“Unfortunately there are people out there who will attempt to gain money fraudulently and target the community. I strongly advise anyone who receives calls like this to hang up immediately and do not provide any personal details. The police would never ask you to hand over or transfer money.

“If you are ever unsure if a call from the police is genuine, ask for the person’s name and collar number then hang up. Using a different phone if possible, as like in this case the caller may still be linked to yours, dial 101 and ask for that specific person – if they are genuine, the Communications Centre will be able to put you through to them.”

For advice, please contact Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.org.uk or contact the Action Fraud Hotline on 0300 123 2040.

To report a crime, contact Cumbria Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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