Gloucestershire Constabulary are investigating a recent case of financial fraud.
An elderly woman in Gloucester has transferred thousands of pounds to a very skilled and plausible fraudster who claimed to be an investigator working on behalf of Lloyds Bank fraud department.
The male fraudster contacted the woman on a number of occasions during July 2017. She was told that if she assisted the bank with their enquiries she would be rewarded with £10,000. The fraudster did transfer £10,000 into her account which, it transpires, was stolen from a victim in another county.
During July the woman was persuaded to withdraw thousands of pounds from her accounts. She was told to keep the money at home and await further instructions. She was further contacted by a male claiming to be a named officer from the Metropolitan Police who gave what appeared to be a genuine telephone number. However, when a victim uses the telephone it often remains open enabling the fraudster to continue to pretend to be a victim's genuine bank when he/she calls back to check.
Fortunately the scam came to light by her bank when she went into the branch and attempted to write a cheque for thousands of pounds. The bank intervened, the whole story came to light and the police were called.
This has been a hugely upsetting for the woman has been harassed by persistent and increasingly aggressive telephone calls from this man.
We want to advise the public that these fraudsters are very clever and manipulative. They are skilled in persuading innocent people that they are the victims of fraud or are assisting police in their enquiries.
The new angle used is transferring to the victim a large sum of (stolen) money as a 'reward' for their assistance.
Our advice is always to remain vigilant and be aware should you receive unsolicited telephone calls or unexpected approaches by anyone who claims to be from your bank or building society.
Detective Sergeant Michael Prentice, of the Force Intelligence Bureau, said: "These are heartless crimes which target the most vulnerable and trusting members of our society, defrauding them of their life savings."Please be aware that banks and police officers will never ask for your PIN or account details over the phone and never ask you to transfer money to another account.
"If you get a call like this hang up and phone the police and your bank immediately using a different phone, in case the fraudster is still on the line. Do not be pressured into giving any details or handing over any money.
"Please share this information with family, friends and neighbours who you think might be vulnerable to this kind of offence."
Fraud can happen to anyone. Advice on protecting yourself against fraud and scams can be found on our website:
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