Police warning of late-night phone scammers preying on the elderly
The Neighbourhood Watch network in Lincolnshire has issued a warning about phone scammers posing as police officers and computer store employees who are targeting the elderly.
A series of incidents have already been reported in neighbouring Nottinghamshire - but it is feared the scammers may turn their attentions to vulnerable Lincolnshire residents.
The calls are being made to elderly people during the night and in the early hours of the morning.
Callers are using two different stories to gain bank details - and in some cases to collect credit cards
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and bank cards.
One version of the scam is for people posing as detectives from the Metropolitan Police who tell their victims that their bank cards have been used by criminals.
They ask for card information, claiming that a courier will pick up the cards.
The bogus caller then asks the person to contact their bank and cancel their cards.
But, despite putting the phone down to make the call, the victim's phone line has been directed back to the scammers, who then ask for their bank details.
Another scenario being used is to say that the victim's grandchild has run up a debt at the Apple Store, which needs to be paid off.
Samantha Hancock is the manager of the Nottinghamshire Police Pre-Crime Unit.
"These scammers are targeting elderly people at unsociable hours when they are most vulnerable," she said.
"Police officers are unlikely to ever seize your bank cards after a fraud and if they do, they would never
send a courier to collect them.
"Officers with identification would come to the victim's house.
"Please make your relatives aware of this scam.
"Don't share financial details, including codes for your bank card, safe or Keysafe, with strangers and do not keep large amounts of money in your house.
If you have been targeted by this scam or have any information, contact Lincolnshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
And if you have divulged your card details or handed your cards over to anyone, ensure that you contact your card issuer to cancel the cards immediately.
Have you been a victim of a phone scam? Call Chris Hall at the Lincolnshire Echo on 01522 804320.