Couple conned out of £1,000 in bank card scam

Police were called to two reports in two days Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Police were called to two reports in two days Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Evening News � 2007

An elderly couple were conned out of £1,000 by criminals claiming to be the very people responsible for protecting them from fraud.

Police received two reports in two days from householders targeted by bogus bank fraud teams.

The first incident took place after an elderly couple in Friends Field, Bures, received two calls in 15 minutes from a withheld number on Tuesday morning.

The couple were told they were victims of fraud and that someone would visit to collect their banks cards and PINs.

A man then attended their address and collected the cards, leaving an envelope supposedly containing replacement cards.

The couple’s cards were used to withdraw a total of £1,000 from the HSBC cash machine in Market Hill, Sudbury, at about 11.50am.

The man who collected the cards was described as black, in his 20s, with shoulder-length dreadlocks and wearing a yellow high-visibility jacket.

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The second incident happened about 12 miles away in Peacocks Road, Cavendish, at about 1pm on Wednesday, when an elderly woman received calls from a man claiming to work for Barclays bank, advising that he and a colleague would shortly visit to exchange her bank card and PIN.

Two men arrived and tried to hand over a Marks & Spencer gift card in exchange, but the victim refused to hand over her card and the pair left the property.

The first man was black, shorter than 5ft 10in, of slim build and in his 20s. He had short hair and was wearing dark, casual clothes and a high-vis jacket.

The second man was black, with dreadlocks, and wearing a high-vis jacket.

Detective Sergeant Paul Cappleman urged people to be vigilant to potential scams, adding: “Just take a few moments to think – has the approach come from a cold call, or unexpected text or email? Could it be fake? It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Remember, the police, or your bank, will never ask you to withdraw money, transfer it to a different account or ask you to reveal your full banking password or pin number.”

Anyone with information, or dash cam footage from Sudbury at the time of the withdrawals, should contact police, quoting 37/20122/20 for the Bures incident or 37/20324/20 for the Cavendish incident, via suffolk.police.uk, Paul.Cappleman@suffolk.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101.

A recent series of scams have been reportedly targeting people affected by restrictions on movement brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Suffolk Trading Standards said fraudsters may also capitalise on slow networks and IT problems, as more people work from home due to COVID-19, in order to commit computer software service fraud.

People should be wary of cold calls or unsolicited emails offering help with devices or to fix a problem, warned the Trading Standards department.

Action Fraud, the national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre, has listed a number of computer software service scams to look out for, including ‘tech support’ calls and scammers asking for credit card information to validate software.

Genuine computer firms insist they do not send unsolicited emails or make unsolicited phone calls to request personal or fix computers.

Anyone receiving suspicious communications is advised to delete the email or hang up the phone, and contact the firm directly, using the phone numbers obtained from their contract or other trusted sources, if further assistance is required.

Anyone who has lost money to a scam can report it to Action Fraud at reporting.actionfraud.police.uk.

Meanwhile, people have been urged not to share a fake voice message circulating on WhatsApp and making claims regarding the expected death count at the peak of the coronavirus spread.

The voice note, which has been forwarded repeatedly on the messaging service WhatsApp, claims that no ambulances will be sent out for anyone displaying symptoms.

Suffolk Trading Standards said: “The alarmist information being shared in the message is not correct. We would urge people to disregard the message and not share it further.”

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