Sussex Police has issued a warning after a sudden rise in a particular crime where fraudsters are targeting vulnerable people by telephone.
The fraudsters begin their scam by calling the intended victim claiming to be from either the Police or a Bank.
They tell them that their bank or credit card details have been fraudulently used and that they need to act urgently to protect themselves.
They suggest that the victim hangs up and rings the bank/police back to ensure that the call is genuine.
But the police say people must not be fooled - the frauusters actually stay on the line and continue to pretend to be the police or the bank. They then tell the intended victim to key in or read out their PIN number.
They then send a taxi or courier to collect the bank card. With this and the PIN they have full access to spend the victim’s money.
Sussex Police says detectives are aware that fraudsters have targeted residents in Crawley and Mid Sussex but urge all residents to be on their guard.
Ch Insp Beeken of Sussex Police stated: “Under no circumstances would the police or your bank request your pin number over the telephone or arrange collection of your bank cards from your home address in this manner.
“I advise all members of the public to 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.
“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.
“I urge anyone with any information to contact Sussex Police, whether you have received similar calls or know someone who has been a victim of this crime please contact Sussex Police quoting Op Galvani, e mail firstname.lastname@example.org or dial 101 or 999 if appropriate, or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”