A phone scam targeting pensioners has been branded “despicable” by police in Lancashire.
More than £80,000 has been stolen in 33 incidents since the start of February from unsuspecting residents in Preston, Bamber Bridge and a number of locations in the east of the county.
Now detectives are warning people to be on their guard against callers claiming to be police officers and asking for bank details.
“These are despicable crimes against vulnerable, elderly victims,” said DC Barry James. “We know this is a national problem, but areas of Lancashire are continuing to be targeted.” The telephone fraud has mainly hit people in their 70s and80s , with callers pretending to be police and warning the victim’s bank account or card has been attacked by criminals. They are tricked into divulging their account details or transfering money. In some cases the bogus officers have even visited homes to collect money.
“I would like to remind people to be vigilant and if you get this type of phone call, report it to the police and/ or your bank before transferring any money into another account or agreeing to hand any of your cash over,” said DC James.
“People who commit these offences will often target the elderly posing as officials to gain their confidence and trust. No police officer or other official body will ever ask for bank details or ask you to withdraw or transfer funds.”