Fraud warning after elderly Portsmouth couple targeted in courier scam
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Officers investigating a number of reports of people receiving calls from a person claiming to be a police officer and asking them to hand over money are issuing a warning to residents in Portsmouth.
The warning comes after we received a report of a couple in their 80s being asked to hand over money to a courier.
This follows eleven reports of similar requests being made of residents in Petersfield and East Hampshire. The calls have targeted victims between the ages of 53 and 93-years-old.
During the telephone calls, victims have been told the caller is a police officer who is investigating a fraud.
The caller then asks them to go to their bank and withdraw money, which should be handed over to a courier who will visit them.
In each call, victims are told not to trust their bank when anti-fraud checks are being completed.
The latest report was received on January 29, after a couple in their 80s, who live in Portsmouth, were called by someone alleging there had been suspicious activity on their bank account.
While on the phone, the victims were told to help the investigation they should attend their bank and withdraw a specified amount of money.
Fortunately, the victims were able to establish this was a scam and did not hand over money.
We want to remind everyone that police officers or your bank will never ask you to withdraw money.
Anyone making a request like this is part of a scam, as is anyone acting as a courier to collect money.
If you receive calls such as this, please hang up and call us on 101 or your bank to seek advice. It is important you do this from a different telephone line to the one you just received any suspicious call on.
We would also like to remind everyone of the following advice:
• Police officers will never call people in this way and ask you to withdraw money or disclose personal or financial information. If someone does do this, please hang up – it will be a scam.
• Consider contacting your telephone provider to get a free call-blocking service if you are getting unsolicited calls.
• If you are a friend, relative or carer of someone you think might be vulnerable to this type of scam, please speak to them about this advice. You might be the only person who can stop them from being scammed.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, report it to us by calling 101. If a crime is in progress, dial 999.
You can make yourself aware of this type of scam and how to protect yourself by visiting the Action Fraud website (https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/) or by calling them on 0300 123 2040.