SAVVY Bognor Regis residents have foiled the latest blitz on the town from telephone conmen.
All the four individuals targeted by scam attempts in one day refused to part with their personal financial details.
Their switched-on response has been praised by Sussex Police. Others have been urged to follow their example.
Detective Inspector Jim McKnight said: “It is good that many people are already heeding our advice.
“We urge anyone hearing about this scam to pass the message on to any friends and relatives who may not be aware of this particular type of targeted fraud to prevent any vulnerable friends or family members from becoming victims.
“We want to encourage everyone to continue to resist these callers.
“So, if you have any information, whether you have received similar calls or know someone who has been the victim of of this crime, contact Sussex Police via 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org quoting Operation Edisto.”
The independent charity, Crimestoppers, can also be contacted on 0800 555 111.
DI McKnight’s comments came after the four households were phoned last Wednesday, April 16.
Each of them was wrongly told the caller was a police officer or bank employee who was after their bank and card details - and to get hold of the card.
The attempts on Bognor’s residents were among nine in Sussex on that day alone. The others were in Brighton.
Only one succeeded and a woman handed over her details and £200 cash. But she told the police quickly enough about the incident to enable her cards to be cancelled before they could be used.
The fraudsters operate by telling the intended victim their card details have been fraudulently used and they need to act urgently to protect themselves.
They suggest the individual hangs up and rings the bank or the police to ensure the call is genuine.
But the fraudster stays on the line and pretends to be the bank or the police. They tell the intended victim to key in read out their PIN.
A taxi or courier, who may know nothing about the crime, will be sent to collect the card. This - with the PIN - gives the conman access to the bank account.
“Under no circumstances would the police or a person’s bank request someone’s PIN over the telephone or arrange collection of bank cards from a home address in this manner,” said DI McKnight.
“Never give out bank details to someone who has contacted you on your home phone unsolicited.”
Anyone with suspicions should use another phone, if possible, to contact the police or bank to check the situation or a relative to raise the alarm.