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Audio of fraudster released in police alert over telephone scam

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Force crest

We’re issuing this recording of a scam phone call as part of our investigations into incidents across our policing area.

The victims are mostly elderly and have been contacted at home through their landline. The fraudsters have persuaded them to withdraw cash after being told their bank details have been used to make purchases in London. The scammers have then collected the money, claiming it’s needed as “evidence”.

We’re working with local banks to raise awareness and our enquiries continue.

The victim’s family managed to record the fraudster

This recording involves a woman in her seventies from Bath. However we’ve had more than 30 reports of similar incidents in Bridgwater, Chard, Clevedon and Taunton this year.

In February a man contacted the lady over the phone, claiming to be a police officer from London. He persuaded her that she’d been given fake bank notes which were collected from her.

The bogus police officer said she shouldn’t speak to anyone about the case, claiming it could “compromise the investigation”. Thankfully the lady did tell her daughter and the family recorded this further call from the conman. We’ve edited the audio to protect her identity.

During the conversation he tries to convince the lady that her other accounts are also at risk. When he realised that she had rumbled the scam he became abusive before hanging up.

We’re also issuing CCTV images from London of a man we’d like to identify.

Don’t discuss your finances with anyone who calls you out of the blue

DC Ashley Lockton said: “We’d like to hear from anyone who recognises the man in the recording or the CCTV images – but we also want people to talk to their vulnerable elderly relatives and friends about this type of scam.

“It’s important to remember that police and bank staff will never ask you to withdraw or transfer money or hand over cash, your card or your PIN. We would also want you to have the support of your family in this sort of case, rather than asking you not to tell them.”

“These fraudsters can be very convincing but please don’t discuss your finances with anyone who calls you out of the blue, even if they say they’re a police officer or from your bank. Genuine callers will be happy to make an appointment for you to visit them at a branch or police station.”

Anyone who gets this sort of call should hang up immediately and allow 10 minutes for the line to clear before trying to make another call.

If you have any information which could help, please get in touch, quoting reference 5219043957.

There’s lots of information about fraudsters and scams on the Action Fraud website. If you think you have been defrauded you can report it by calling 0300 123 2050 or online here

If you can help, please call 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5219043957

You can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or 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.