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More than £200,000 worth of savings stolen from Southwold woman by telephone scammers

PUBLISHED: 15:03 08 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:24 08 February 2018

Suffolk police are warning the public to be wary after reports of a phone scam. Photo: Dave Thompson/PA Wire.

Suffolk police are warning the public to be wary after reports of a phone scam. Photo: Dave Thompson/PA Wire.

Archant

A woman has seen more than £200,000 in savings stolen from her bank account after being targeted by telephone fraudsters.

Police are now urging members of the public to be vigilant after the woman, aged in her 60s and from Southwold, fell victim to the telephone scam.

The scam sees members of the public contacted over the phone by someone claiming to be from the fraud department associated with their bank.

Callers claim “rogue employees” are targeting the victim’s bank accounts and in order to safeguard the money saved they need to transfer savings to a ‘safe’ account.

The woman was forced to act fast as the scammers applied a time pressure to the transactions and also claimed the transfer needed to be kept a secret.

Victims are asked to either go online or visit their local branch to carry out the necessary transfers.

They are instructed what they should and should not say to friends, family and bank staff.

DC Joanne Smith from Safeguarding and Investigations said: “The fraudulent caller will sound very convincing, and claims to know the banks procedures and even information about the victims account to gain their trust.

“The fraudulent caller may also build the trust over a couple of days before asking to make the transfers as well as providing genuine telephone numbers and passwords that will correspond to the legitimate bank and building society.

“Some fraudsters have the ability to mask their telephone number so what appears on the caller display conveys the impression it is a genuine phone number.”

Police have said the public should remember the following:

• Your bank or the police will never ask you to withdraw money or purchase items

• Your bank or the police will never ask for your PIN, bank card or bank account details over the phone – never give these details out

• If the victim has any concerns about what the caller is asking then they should end the call and report to their branch and or fraud department

• Never download any software suggested by caller

• Do not rush into complying to the scammers demands / requests. 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.

Friends, family, carers and neighbours are asked to spread the word to ensure everyone is aware of this scam and what they should do.

For advice on staying safe against scams, visit www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/crime-prevention-z

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