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Telephone scammer thwarted by Brighton and Hove residents
6:20am Monday 31st March 2014 in News
A telephone scammer was left empty handed when the people he targeted refused to co-operate.
The man called eight people in Brighton and Hove last week to try to get them to reveal vital personal bank details, but the attempted con was unsuccessful.
In each case the caller rang potential victims, pretending to be a PC Ian Baker or Ian Barnes from Paddington Green police station, and told them that they had been the victim of a scam.
He then said the incident was being investigated and asked for confidential bank details which would have provided direct access to their accounts.
He was almost successful in one case, involving a 92-year-old woman living in supported housing in Hove.
However staff there stepped in to help the potential victim and the bid was thwarted.
Police said the message that people should be suspicious of any phone calls apparently coming from officers or from a bank or building society and looking for account information seemed to be getting through.
Detective Sergeant Cheryl Lewendon, of Brighton CID, said: "It is encouraging to know that people are becoming more alert to the tricks being tried by scammers to get hold of their personal information.
"Whatever you may be told, under no circumstances would the police or a bank request your PIN number or personal details over the telephone or arrange collection of your bank cards from your home address, as has happened in some instances.
“Never give out your bank details to someone who has contacted you on your home phone unsolicited.
“If you have any suspicions please do not use the phone you have just been called on to contact the police or your bank.
“If possible use another phone to contact the police to report it or to contact a friend to relative to alert them.
“If you are unable to do this, then delay calling back by at least 10 minutes.
"I urge anyone reading or hearing this message to pass it on to any friends and relatives who may not be aware of this particular type of targeted fraud, to prevent any vulnerable friends or family members from becoming victims.
"We want to encourage everyone to continue to resist these callers.”
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