POLICE have issued a warning after a Bognor Regis man was conned out of thousands of pounds after he fell victim to a telephone scam.
The 61-year-old victim received a phone call yesterday (Tuesday, April 8) from someone claiming to work for a banks fraud protection department.
The caller advised the resident his card had been used in purchasing goods without his knowledge and they had passed his phone number to a police officer working at a London police station who would call him shortly.
Not long after, the ‘officer’ called the resident confirming he was a victim of fraud and money laundering whereby a staff member of a local bank was involved.
The caller then requested the victim withdraw a large amount of cash.
The victim removed £5,000 from his account and was told to lie to the bank and say the money was being withdrawn for the purchase of a car, so as not to raise suspicion.
A taxi was called to collect the money from the victim’s home.
When the victim became suspicious and questioned the legitimacy of the call, he was told to dial 999 and ask to be put through to the Police Station in London.
However the caller had stayed on the line and the man followed his instructions and the money was collected by a taxi.
It was after this that the man realised he was a victim of a scam and called police.
PCSO Michelle Davies said: “Under no circumstances would the police arrange collection of your bank cards or money from your home address in this manner.
“Never give out your bank details to someone who has contacted you on your home phone.
“If you have any suspicions please do not use the phone you have just been called on to contact the police or your bank.
“If possible use another phone to contact the police to report it or to contact a friend to relative to alert them.
“If you are unable to do this, then delay calling back by at least 10 minutes.
“Police are also asking taxi firms and drivers to be aware of calls asking them to collect packages and drop them to another location.
“If you suspect a vulnerable person is subject to a scam please report it to police as soon as possible.”
If you or someone you know have received similar calls or know someone who has been a victim of this crime, contact Sussex Police on 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org quoting Operation Edisto.
You can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.