Police Warning after telephone fraud incidents in Somerset.

We are warning people to be on their guard following two incidents of attempted telephone fraud in the Crewkerne area. In both incidents no cash was taken but we are concerned that there may have been other victims who have not reported incidents to us.

The victims were contacted by callers purporting to be from Lloyds Bank and advised there was a problem with their bank debit card and they would be sending someone to collect the cards and that a replacement card would be delivered to their home. In the first instance the card was collected and PiN number provided but fortunately the victim realised their error and alerted their bank. In the other incident someone visited the victim who refused to hand over their card. In both incidents the bogus caller was wearing a high visibility jacket. We are urging people to be vigilant and on their guard to such calls.

Banks will never personally attend a home address to collect or deliver cards or important documents, and bank details and personal information – including PiN numbers – should never be disclosed. Anyone with information, or has been a victim and wants to make us aware should call us.

We would offer the following advice: Police and banks will never ask members of the public to give out personal details, such as bank account numbers or PIN numbers over the phone or send a courier to collect bank cards or money.

We advise people not to discuss their finances with anyone calling you out of the blue, even if they claim to be a police officer or representative from the bank. Genuine callers will be happy for you to make an appointment to visit them at a branch of the bank or police station.

If you receive what you believe to be a scam/fraudulent call, end it immediately and call your bank or police. Before making a confirmation phone call either Wait five minutes or Use a different phone (eg mobile or neighbour’s phone) in case your line has been locked by the scammer If you have any doubts about who you are speaking to, ask for identification. Police officers and other official callers will expect you to check their identity. They won’t mind waiting while you do so.

Taxi services and courier companies in the county who have been made aware of the courier fraud offending and continue to pick up ‘packages’ from victims could face prosecution. We would also appeal to taxi drivers who are asked to collect parcels – especially from elderly.

If you know someone who may be vulnerable to this type of offence, please speak to them and share our crime prevention tips. If you can help, please call 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5219267904

You can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111or via their Anonymous Online Form. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court or have to speak to police when contacting Crimestoppers.

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