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Ipswich: ‘Open line’ phone scam alert as two people taken for thousands

22:10 04 March 2014

Police are warning residents to be aware of a phone scam

Police are warning residents to be aware of a phone scam

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

Two people have been conned out of thousands of pounds by scam artists operating in the Ipswich area.


Police are urging people not to give out personal banking information and to never hand over bank cards after two scams were reported to officers within minutes.

At 8.30pm police were contacted by a man in Ipswich who had taken a call from someone claiming to work for a bank advising that an attempt had been made to take money from his account. The man called a number supposedly for his bank and gave details of everyone in the family who banked online, including their passwords.

Just two minutes later, police took another call from a 93-year-old woman who had taken a call at 8pm from a man claiming to be a police officer at Holborn, in London, who told her to ring the number on her bank card. She did this and was told that someone was coming to collect her bank cards. A foreign man then arrived at her address and she handed the cards over.

It is thought that both scams involved telephone lines being left open, so that residents thought they were speaking to the relevant bank but were really still on line to the criminals who made the original call.

Police have asked people to remember that neither your bank nor the police will never ask for your PIN, bank card or bank account details over the phone.

The police will never call you and ask you to withdraw money from your account, and will never ask you to handover bank cards, to give to a courier or taxi driver, regardless of how convincing the caller may seem.

A police spokeswoman said: “If you receive such a call, leave the landline for at least five minutes to make an outside call. Fraudsters will keep the line open and have been known to play ring tones, hold music and a recorded message down the phone so the victim believes they are making a call to a legitimate number.”



  • Blue&white,I agree with your comments but they need to be backed up by family and friends explaining to them, not to tell strangers on the telephone, anything and certainly not to withdraw cash and give it to another stranger. Somehow, these scammers seem to find the vulnerable people with ease. My late mother would read the warnings in the paper and promptly forget about it.

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    The original Victor Meldrew

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • It offends me when people seek to exploit the vulnerable. Whether thats these scammers or the conservatives stopping benefit payments to the sick and disabled. I am shocked, however, at the first case in this article where someone revealed the whole household's banking details... people do fool for the most obvious scams, but in these circumstances its unknown technicalities of the telephone network (phone line being open still) and usually bullying, however, if you didn't clock on when it moved away from "a problem with YOUR bank account" to requesting EVERYONES bank details... there is no hope in the world.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • It would be rather easy to fast track legislation to force BT etc. to reduce the timeouts to prevent these scams. ofcom should be fining BT etc. for allowing these scams to happen. There is absolutely no reason why leaving open the line benefits anyone, I have to go as far as it would probably be an improvement.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • This scam is being publicised in the press and on TV yet it continues. Whilst this article mentions a man, it does not give his age group but it does mention a 93 yrs old woman. The warnings about this scam are obviously not getting through to the targeted age group( they do not read newspapers or watch tv news?) so it is down to us friends , relatives and perhaps pensioners groups to get the message through to stop the scammers.

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    The original Victor Meldrew

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • SCC already spend money on sending useless junk (e.g. free newspapers) to our homes. They should now distribute very clear, concise warning handouts to EVERY household as a priority, but particularly to the elderly and vulnerable. These people are often naïve, credulous and easily duped, especially by anyone they believe to be in a position of authority (police, bank staff, etc). It is obvious that there is not enough information at present to reach them and educate them.

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    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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