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Alert issued to South Yorkshire residents over fraud phone call you could get at any time

Police.
Police.

Fraudsters are attempting to swindle elderly South Yorkshire residents out of their savings as part of a phone scam.

Organised crime gangs have reportedly been targeting elderly people across the country by ringing them up and persuading them to either withdraw and handover cash or to transfer money into bank accounts.

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The cold callers tend to claim that they are from the police or a fraud department from a bank and are alerting the customer that their account has been compromised.

They then give instructions on how to quickly transfer funds to what is purported to be an alternative account provided for them. The victim's money is then of course lost.

Derbyshire Police have now issued a warning for residents to remain vigilant and to not fall prey to the scam.

Detective Inspector Debbie King said: “It’s so important that people take steps to protect their elderly relatives and friends by continually warning them of the dangers.

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“The criminals prey on people’s willingness to help, or the fear of losing money unless they act quickly. It might be claims that hackers are attacking their internet or bank account.

“One of the more elaborate tales is claiming to be from the bank’s fraud department and asking the victim to test the branch staff by going undercover as a mystery shopper."

She added: "There have been other examples where the victim is told they are needed to assist the police in a ‘sting’ on corrupt staff by withdrawing cash from the bank; bringing it home and awaiting a ‘police’ arranged courier to collect it from them as evidence.

“The victims are often told how to act, for example to discretely keep their mobile phone line open whilst in the bank, enabling the fraudsters to monitor what is being said.

“They may also be prepped with answers to any questions surrounding the reason for a big money transaction; funding a family member’s wedding perhaps, or gifting cash to a relative, using it for a holiday, to buy a car or for home improvements.

“In some instances, victims are instructed to make repeat trips to branches to withdraw or transfer funds.

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“The bottom line is that legitimate organisations would never call an individual and ask them to withdraw or transfer money.”

To report a fraud visit www.actionfraud.police.uk or ring 0300 123 2040.