Telephone scam targets elderly and vulnerable in Wycombe area

Telephone scam targets elderly and vulnerable in Wycombe area

Telephone scam targets elderly and vulnerable in Wycombe area

First published in News
Last updated
Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by

A TELEPHONE scam targeting the elderly and vulnerable has struck the Wycombe area repeatedly since the start of 2014 – prompting a warning from police.

There have been 11 incidents of a ‘courier fraud’ scam in the district since November 16, with eight happening this month – and the most recent in Marlow on Wednesday.

Other areas hit by the scam are Stokenchurch, Holmer Green, Hazlemere, Hughenden Valley, and Princes Risborough.

Deputy Area Commander, Ch Insp Colin Seaton, said: “These offences have taken place across our area and we all need to do what we can to prevent any more from happening.

“I would like to ask everyone who has elderly or vulnerable family members, friends or neighbours to let them know about the scam.

“In all of these cases the victims received calls from fraudsters who told them their card details had been used fraudulently and to hang up and call their bank or the police immediately.”

The scam sees the victim receive a phone call from fraudsters who claim they are from their bank or the police. They say they are calling because of ‘suspicious activity’ on their account and advise them to call the bank from the number on the back of their card - which can cause the victim think the call is genuine.

The victim disconnects the phone and dials their bank or police – but the fraudster has kept the telephone line open so even though a new number is dialed, no new connection is made.

This means the victim is still on the phone to the fraudster, who now poses as a member of the bank staff and asks them to either state or key in their pin, before telling them their card will be collected and a replacement delivered.

Once the fraudster has all the information they need, a courier is sent to collect the card from the victim and a replacement is delivered at the same time, which is not a genuine bank card.

Ch Insp Seaton, added: “We are also working closely with taxi companies in the area who might be used as a courier service to make sure we do all that we can to prevent any more incidents from happening.”

He issued the following advice:

• Your bank and/or the police will never ask for your PIN.

• Your bank will never attend your home to deliver a replacement card or to collect cash .

• Your bank and/or the police will never collect your bank card.

If you have any information please contact the Thames Valley Police Enquiry Centre on 101 or call charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at ww.crimestoppers-uk.org

Comments (6)

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5:27pm Fri 24 Jan 14

mother henpeck says...

scum dirty rotton scum do they not have elderly parents how would they like it done to one of there own
scum dirty rotton scum do they not have elderly parents how would they like it done to one of there own mother henpeck
  • Score: 11

6:14pm Fri 24 Jan 14

tigeran says...

Does this really work, ringing someone, waiting for them to put the phone down but not hanging up and you are still connected to them? Would be very easy to completely screw someone's ability to ring out if you really wanted to if this is the case!! Ther must be more to it than simply them not hanging up!
Does this really work, ringing someone, waiting for them to put the phone down but not hanging up and you are still connected to them? Would be very easy to completely screw someone's ability to ring out if you really wanted to if this is the case!! Ther must be more to it than simply them not hanging up! tigeran
  • Score: 2

6:56pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Robert.M says...

tigeran wrote:
Does this really work, ringing someone, waiting for them to put the phone down but not hanging up and you are still connected to them? Would be very easy to completely screw someone's ability to ring out if you really wanted to if this is the case!! Ther must be more to it than simply them not hanging up!
It works because the culprit thinks they are talking to their bank, but instead they are talking to the fraudster and release their bank details to them.
Lets hope that these filthy low life scum bags get caught and punished accordingly.
[quote][p][bold]tigeran[/bold] wrote: Does this really work, ringing someone, waiting for them to put the phone down but not hanging up and you are still connected to them? Would be very easy to completely screw someone's ability to ring out if you really wanted to if this is the case!! Ther must be more to it than simply them not hanging up![/p][/quote]It works because the culprit thinks they are talking to their bank, but instead they are talking to the fraudster and release their bank details to them. Lets hope that these filthy low life scum bags get caught and punished accordingly. Robert.M
  • Score: 3

7:33pm Fri 24 Jan 14

tigeran says...

Robert.M wrote:
tigeran wrote:
Does this really work, ringing someone, waiting for them to put the phone down but not hanging up and you are still connected to them? Would be very easy to completely screw someone's ability to ring out if you really wanted to if this is the case!! Ther must be more to it than simply them not hanging up!
It works because the culprit thinks they are talking to their bank, but instead they are talking to the fraudster and release their bank details to them.
Lets hope that these filthy low life scum bags get caught and punished accordingly.
I understand that, what I mean is I didn't think you could keep someone's line open still even when they have hung up on you?
[quote][p][bold]Robert.M[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]tigeran[/bold] wrote: Does this really work, ringing someone, waiting for them to put the phone down but not hanging up and you are still connected to them? Would be very easy to completely screw someone's ability to ring out if you really wanted to if this is the case!! Ther must be more to it than simply them not hanging up![/p][/quote]It works because the culprit thinks they are talking to their bank, but instead they are talking to the fraudster and release their bank details to them. Lets hope that these filthy low life scum bags get caught and punished accordingly.[/p][/quote]I understand that, what I mean is I didn't think you could keep someone's line open still even when they have hung up on you? tigeran
  • Score: 2

12:16am Sat 25 Jan 14

aqm805 says...

Neighbours are HELPFUL to disabled or elderly??? Not to 23 Spring Gardens Road certainly.
Neighbours are HELPFUL to disabled or elderly??? Not to 23 Spring Gardens Road certainly. aqm805
  • Score: -1

1:00pm Sat 25 Jan 14

bequia says...

tigeran wrote:
Robert.M wrote:
tigeran wrote:
Does this really work, ringing someone, waiting for them to put the phone down but not hanging up and you are still connected to them? Would be very easy to completely screw someone's ability to ring out if you really wanted to if this is the case!! Ther must be more to it than simply them not hanging up!
It works because the culprit thinks they are talking to their bank, but instead they are talking to the fraudster and release their bank details to them.
Lets hope that these filthy low life scum bags get caught and punished accordingly.
I understand that, what I mean is I didn't think you could keep someone's line open still even when they have hung up on you?
Yes that is correct, if the caller does not hang up then the person called cannot dial out for a period of time. It used to be quite a long time about 10 mins or so, not sure how long it is nowadays.

Having known about this since my teenage years, when receiving prank calls from friends of my children, I would put the phone down next to the TV and leave them to it, they ended up running up their phone bill just to listen to the TV.

So yes, this can be done on our landline phones.
[quote][p][bold]tigeran[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Robert.M[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]tigeran[/bold] wrote: Does this really work, ringing someone, waiting for them to put the phone down but not hanging up and you are still connected to them? Would be very easy to completely screw someone's ability to ring out if you really wanted to if this is the case!! Ther must be more to it than simply them not hanging up![/p][/quote]It works because the culprit thinks they are talking to their bank, but instead they are talking to the fraudster and release their bank details to them. Lets hope that these filthy low life scum bags get caught and punished accordingly.[/p][/quote]I understand that, what I mean is I didn't think you could keep someone's line open still even when they have hung up on you?[/p][/quote]Yes that is correct, if the caller does not hang up then the person called cannot dial out for a period of time. It used to be quite a long time about 10 mins or so, not sure how long it is nowadays. Having known about this since my teenage years, when receiving prank calls from friends of my children, I would put the phone down next to the TV and leave them to it, they ended up running up their phone bill just to listen to the TV. So yes, this can be done on our landline phones. bequia
  • Score: 1

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