We're experiencing an increasing number of fraud reports from residents living in the Scarborough area telling us they have been contacted by fraudsters pretending to be the police - usually the "Metropolitan Police".
Sadly, some of the criminal calls are successful and we had one yesterday (Thursday 24 March) where a woman aged in her 80s was persuaded to transfer thousands of pounds to a bank account controlled by fraudsters.
A particular feature of these latest crimes is that the victim is told to make the transfer, and if challenged by bank staff, to say it’s money for a grandchild who urgently needs help.
The victim thinks they are speaking to a police officer and are completely taken by the whole con trick.
They are even told bank staff are "in on the crime", and although it is a lie, the victim uses this story to explain the high-value money transfer they are making.
As well as elderly residents their family members to be extra vigilant to this nasty scam, we're also urging bank and building society staff - on the coast especially - to be on the look-out for older customers who may have fallen victim.
Issued on 24 March 2022
Urgent fraud Warning: Fake police officer scam returns to target elderly residents on the East Coast
North Yorkshire Police is urgently warning residents about the return of telephone scammers who are targeting elderly homeowners while pretending to be police officers.
Four such incidents were reported in the Scarborough and Filey area on Monday (22 March 2022) morning.
The victims included men and woman aged between mid-70s and early 90s.
On each occasion, the callers claimed to be from either “Hammersmith Police”, “The Met” or “Scotland Yard”. The bogus names used included “Superintendent Shelby”, “DCI James Hardwire”, "Sergeant Fisher" and "PC Ryan”.
Sadly, two of the residents were tricked into passing their bank details to the scammers which resulted in thousands of pounds being taken from their accounts.
Their banks have been informed about the fraudulent transactions.
North Yorkshire Police officers have provided advice and reassurance to the victims while enquiries continue.
North Yorkshire Police’s Financial Abuse Safeguarding Officer, Andy Fox said: “This is a scam we have seen a number of times over the years, but people continue to fall victim because the scammers are so effective at manipulating their victims.
“They will often provide reassurance by getting other scammers to pose as different police officers and call the victims to further convince them the scam is legitimate.
“Whenever we provide these warnings, we often hear people comment that they would never believe something which is so obviously a scam but until you are in that situation, it’s impossible to judge.
“The key thing to remember is that the police or your bank will never call you and tell you to move or withdraw your money or ask you for your banking details.
“If this happens, it is definitely a scam and you should hang up immediately.”
Top tips to keep safe from scammers
The police or bank will never ask you to withdraw or transfer money
If you are ever told to lie to your bank, it is a scam
Criminals can spoof telephone numbers, making it appear they are calling from a known bank customer service or police number so do not trust the number displayed on the caller ID
If you are ever in any doubt, hang up immediately
If you are worried you may have fallen victim to a scam, call 101 to report this to the police