Scammers stole a total of £40,000 from elderly residents in two households in Gwent this week.
Gwent Police are reminding people that they will never call you to ask for money. The latest scam saw an elderly couple from Newport have more than £26,000 stolen and an 88-year-old woman from Monmouthshire had more than £14,000 taken.
In both cases the fraudsters claimed to be police officers from Hertfordshire Police and the National Crime Agency.
This is a national courier fraud scam where criminals have used a number of different tactics including claiming there is fraudulent activity on the victims’ bank accounts and to unfreeze their accounts they would have to transfer money or withdraw money.
Often in these scams, another fraudster pretending to be a police officer will collect the cash from the victims’ homes for them to ‘keep safe’. Fraudsters also ask victims not to tell family or their banks what the money is for due to the ‘undercover investigation’.
Victims have also been asked to ring 999 or 101 to check the ‘legitimacy of the call’ however, because the criminal keeps the phone line open, the call is again answered by a fraudulent accomplice.
Detective Inspector Louise Cruci said: “I cannot stress enough how sophisticated and well-rehearsed these scammers are. Our message is clear – the police, government agencies or banks will never ask you to disclose personal information, bank details or demand payments.
“I would urge all residents to share this message and raise awareness of this scam in particular with elderly relatives or more vulnerable members of the community.
“Officers have been working with local banks and the local authority to raise awareness of this scam and to report any suspicious activity.
“If you receive any calls of this nature – they are a scam- please hang up and call us on 101 or 999 in an emergency.”