Police warn of telephone scams targeting Suffolk elderly

Telephone scam
Telephone scam

Police have issued a warning of telephone scams after two suspicious pensioners in their 80s outwitted scammers this week.

Police praised both victims’ quick-thinking in reporting the incidents and for their suspicion against the nature of both calls.

On Monday a man in his 80s from Ipswich received a phone call from someone claiming to be from the tax office. The victim was told he owed a sum of money and that unless he purchased a quantity of music vouchers he would be arrested.

He was warned he would receive a follow up call later that day for confirmation of purchase. The victim suspected something wasn’t right and notified police.

Then yesterday a woman in her 80s from Stowmarket received a call from a man claiming to be from the Metropolitan Police in London.

She was told her bank was being investigated for fraud and that she was required to withdraw thousands of pounds from her account. The caller repeated her full name and address to her and advised that officers would personally visit her home to collect this cash and collect her cards to be examined by police forensics.

The victim was also warned that she was not to tell anyone about the call as she would be at risk of jeopardising the investigation and she could be taken to court.

She hung up the phone and called 999, but the caller had stayed on the line in an attempt to fool the victim. He then berated her and said that someone would be at her address shortly. The victim hung up again and re-dialled 999 when she was connected to Suffolk Police.

Auffolk Police stress no police force would call requesting residents hand over cash in this way.

Fraudsters are contacting the elderly and vulnerable claiming to be from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and warning victims of arrest warrants, outstanding debts or unpaid taxes in their name.

HMRC will never use text messages or email to tell you about a tax rebate or penalty and will never ask for payment in this way.

For advice on keeping yourself safe against scams, visit: https://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/crime-prevention-z

Alternatively, report incidents of fraud to Action Fraud using their online reporting tool at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 1232040.