Phone scam fraudsters target more than 20 people within 24 hours in Essex

Fraudsters target more than 20 people within 24 hours

Fraudsters target more than 20 people within 24 hours

First published in Echo News
Last updated
by , Senior reporter

PHONE fraudsters have targeted people in Essex with more than 20 people alerting police to their scam in less than 24 hours.

The tricksters mainly targeted residents in the south of the county, with 19 of the calls being made to homes in Canvey, Rayleigh, Rochford and Benfleet.

Other calls were made to addresses in Steeple Bumpstead and Dedham, both near the Suffolk border.

Fortunately, 20 of the intended victims quickly realised they were the targets in a long-running scam but a man at Dedham was tricked into handing over credit and bank cards.

About £2,500 was withdrawn from a local cash machine before the cards were stopped.

The latest spate of calls started on Monday evening, with a call to the victim at Dedham and continued through until Tuesday afternoon.

In all cases the caller claimed to be either a detective from either the Metropolitan Police or Essex Police.

Similar false names were used by the callers but their stories varied from claims that their victims’ bank cards had been cloned to claims that suspects had been arrested in possession of stolen bank cards.

DCI Paul Maleary said: "These criminals are having a significant impact on some of the most vulnerable members of our society and sadly no individual is immune from this type of fraud.

"These thieves keep varying their stories and trying different tricks to encourage people to hand over bank details or large sums of cash.

“We are continuing to liaise with community groups and organisations to spread the word to elderly or other vulnerable people who are usually the targets for these thieves."

He added: "We also urge all relatives and friends of elderly people to make sure that they are extremely wary of any callers claiming to be police officers or bank officials who want bank cards, PIN number or large sums of cash which they claim needs to be forensically examined.

"All their claims are absolute rubbish because the police and banks would never ask for details over the phone then send a courier to collect cards or cash.”

Comments (5)

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11:43am Thu 27 Mar 14

Kim Gandy says...

You never EVER give your bank details to anyone over the phone. And your bank certainly never asks for it. Obviously they don't have to.

Most bona fide organisations don't even know your account number other than a series of exxes showing only the final four digits. When you order anything online it's the same universal format.

And you only ever phone legitimate numbers that are advertised on TV or reputable publications anyway.

I have recently had an email from the bank of Santander talking about a recent transaction of over £400 along with an attachment in a zip file. I located the IP number and called Santander to report it. It was a scam email of course.

I rarely have anything to do with people calling me and trying to sell me stuff. The phone goes down within seconds of them introducing themselves.

When will people learn?
You never EVER give your bank details to anyone over the phone. And your bank certainly never asks for it. Obviously they don't have to. Most bona fide organisations don't even know your account number other than a series of exxes showing only the final four digits. When you order anything online it's the same universal format. And you only ever phone legitimate numbers that are advertised on TV or reputable publications anyway. I have recently had an email from the bank of Santander talking about a recent transaction of over £400 along with an attachment in a zip file. I located the IP number and called Santander to report it. It was a scam email of course. I rarely have anything to do with people calling me and trying to sell me stuff. The phone goes down within seconds of them introducing themselves. When will people learn? Kim Gandy
  • Score: 1

11:58am Thu 27 Mar 14

Chris Flunk says...

ATM machine?
PIN number?

Please take the time to find out what an acronym or abbreviation means before you use it. This avoids tautology and embarrassment for the author.
ATM machine? PIN number? Please take the time to find out what an acronym or abbreviation means before you use it. This avoids tautology and embarrassment for the author. Chris Flunk
  • Score: 12

1:15pm Thu 27 Mar 14

Ageing Commuter says...

As these scams seem to be targeted at the 'Elderly' and 'Vunerable', you have question how these people know they are 'Elderly' or 'Vunerable' in the first place and how do they then get their telephone numbers? Even if they followed them home to get their addresses, they would still need their names even to just look them up in the telephone directory. All sounds a bit suspicious to me.
As these scams seem to be targeted at the 'Elderly' and 'Vunerable', you have question how these people know they are 'Elderly' or 'Vunerable' in the first place and how do they then get their telephone numbers? Even if they followed them home to get their addresses, they would still need their names even to just look them up in the telephone directory. All sounds a bit suspicious to me. Ageing Commuter
  • Score: 2

1:58pm Thu 27 Mar 14

carnmountyouknowitmakessense says...

Strange how the number of attempts has shot up, after the Echo told how to do it
Strange how the number of attempts has shot up, after the Echo told how to do it carnmountyouknowitmakessense
  • Score: 2

2:10pm Fri 28 Mar 14

louise123 says...

These scams have been going on for years this is not new.
These scams have been going on for years this is not new. louise123
  • Score: 0

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