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 People urged to be vigilant after increase in fraud scams


People are being urged to be vigilant after an elderly man was conned out of thousands of pounds by a fraudster claiming to be from the police.

The elderly man, who lives in the Consett area, lost around £7,400 when contacted by a fraudster purporting to be a police officer from New Scotland Yard.

The fraudster claimed that if the victim did not withdraw the cash, he would be arrested. Later that day, a courier came and picked up the cash from the address.

Members of the public are reminded that the police and banks will never ask you to withdraw money. Fraudsters will lie and purport to be police and other officials but a genuine police officer will never ask you to transfer money.

Advice issued by UK Finance on how to avoid falling victim to this scam includes:

- The police will never ask you to become part of an undercover investigation or for you to withdraw cash and hand it to them for safe-keeping.
- Be wary of any calls, texts or emails purporting to be from the police asking for your personal or financial details, or for you to transfer money.
- If you are approached, or feel something is suspicious, hang up the phone and don’t reply. Then report it to Action Fraud and your bank on their advertised number.
- The telephone is a key route into the homes and lives of fraud victims. If you receive an unsolicited call, then hang up and take five minutes to verify the call via trusted means.

If you have suspicions or would like to report fraudulent activity, contact police on 101 or call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.