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West Mercia Police Notice

FRAUDSTERS TARGET RESIDENTS ACROSS WEST MERCIA

Officers from Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police have received eight reports of attempted frauds, which have targeted residents across three counties.

Working in conjunction with Action Fraud - the UK's national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre - we are now investigating reports of two incidents in Warwickshire, five in Herefordshire, and one in Shropshire. All were reported to us on 25 January.

In one incident in Rugby, a woman received a phone call from a man claiming to be a police officer from 'the serious fraud office in Westminster'. The caller asked the woman to provide her bank details and to withdraw 5,000 from an ATM. The woman refused.

In an incident in Wrexham, Shropshire, a woman received a phone call from a man claiming to be a police officer at Hammersmith Police Station in London. He said that two people had been arrested using bank cards with her details on, and he needed her home address to continue his policing work. When the woman refused, the caller threatened to have her arrested for perverting the course of justice. The woman did not reveal her personal or financial details.

In five of the incidents, people were phoned by someone pretending to be from HM Revenue and Customs. The caller then stated that the people owed money, which could be paid in some sort of voucher (these turned out to be music or games vouchers). In three of these incidents the caller said that a courier would visit to collect the vouchers.

Detective Sergeant Paul Bent from the Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police Economic Crime Unit said:

"Fraudsters like this can be really convincing, offering false job titles and lots of detail to support their claims. They try to rush you or put you on the spot - even threatening legal action in some cases, like the one in Shropshire - to pressure you into making a quick decision.

"In most cases like these, people trust their instincts and make the right decision, which is putting the phone down and reporting the incident to Action Fraud.

"We urge you to remember that a genuine bank or organisation will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, your password, or to move money to another account. Always question uninvited contact like this - you can contact the real organisation yourself using a known email or phone number.

"Trust your instincts: if a phone call, text or email seems dodgy it probably is
."

To report fraud or a suspicious incident like the ones above, phone Action Fraud on 0300-123 2040 or visit the actionfraud.police.uk website.

For more advice on how to spot fraud, visit the Take Five website takefive-stopfraud.org.uk. Take Five is a national campaign that offers straightforward advice on avoiding preventable financial fraud. It's led by Financial Fraud Action UK (part of UK Finance) and backed by the UK government.

Date: 31/01/2018

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