Officers are appealing for witnesses and urging residents to remain vigilant following three phone scams across East Dorset.
At around 4.30pm on Saturday 1 June 2019 an elderly man received a phone call on his landline from a man claiming to be from Lloyds Bank who stated that there had been fraudulent activity on both the victim’s and his wife’s bank accounts.
The fraudster arranged for his colleague to attend the victim’s address off Ringwood Road in Verwood to collect the bank cards. At 6pm a man arrived at the address in a white Mercedes car but he was challenged by the victim’s son and he made off empty handed.
A similar incident was reported to have occurred on Monday 3 June 2019 when an elderly woman living in Wick Lane in the Southbourne area of Bournemouth received a phone call from someone purporting to be from her bank.
The caller claimed someone had been trying to get into her bank account and they needed to collect her bank card. A man attended and collected the card. The victim then contacted her bank and established the offender was not from the bank.
The same day an elderly woman was contacted by someone claiming to be from Barclays Bank stating an attempt had been made to get money from her account. She was told to put her bank card in an envelope and a man attended her address in the Buttercup Drive area of Christchurch and collected the envelope.
All the victims have cancelled their cards and enquiries are underway to establish whether any money has been taken from the accounts.
Inspector Phil Swanton, of Dorset Police, said: “In each of these incidents the offenders targeted vulnerable people and purported to be from their bank.
“A full investigation is underway and I would urge anyone who was in these areas at the relevant time and saw someone acting suspiciously to please contact us. We are keeping an open mind as to whether these incidents are linked.
“I am also very keen to hear from anyone who has been contacted in similar suspicious circumstances.
“Please remember, the bank will never send someone to your home to collect your bank cards or ask for your PINs. If someone calls you claiming to be from your bank and you are unsure of their validity, we would urge you to ask for their name, hang up and contact your bank directly.
“I would ask anyone with elderly family members to please talk to them about these types of scams and help provide them with advice on what to do if they are in any doubt.”
For more information, visit – https://www.dorset.police.uk/help-advice-crime-prevention/scams-fraud-cyber-crime/
Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email [email protected], or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55190082829. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.