Sussex Police are warning residents not to get caught out by a phone scam.
Offices are telling residents not to be conned by callers pretending to be police officers or bank staff, who ask for your bank and card details. Sussex Police say the elderly or those living alone are particularly at risk.
This week there were nine more cases in Sussex, including a woman in Ringmer, who lost £1350 to this scam.
In Sussex fraudsters have got away with more than £150,000 in total since last August.
The fraudsters call the victim claiming to be from either the Police or a Bank. They tell them that their card details have been fraudulently used and that they need to act urgently to protect themselves. They suggest that they hang up and ring the bank or the police back to ensure that the call is genuine.
With landline calls only the person making the call, can terminate it. Instead the fraudsters say on the line, and have been known to play a fake dial tone.
When the victim then calls their bank it is again the fraudsters they are speaking to. They then fool the victim into revealing their PIN number.
The fraudsters will then send a taxi or courier, who may know nothing about the crime, to collect the bank card. With the card and the PIN, they will then have full access to spend the money in the account. Sussex Police say if you get a call claiming to be from your bank and they ask you to call back to verify, always use a neighbours phone or mobile telephone instead of your own.
— Wealden Police (@WealdenPolice) February 14, 2014
Detective Chief Inspector Ali Eaton said:
Never give out your bank details to someone who has contacted you on your home phone unsolicited. If you have any suspicions please do not use the phone you have just been called on to contact the police or your bank. If possible use another phone to contact the police to report it, or to contact a friend to relative to alert them.
I urge anyone reading or hearing this message to pass it on to any friends and relatives who may not be aware of this particular type of targeted fraud, to prevent any vulnerable friends or family members from becoming victims.
If you have any information, whether you have received similar calls or know someone who has been a victim of this crime, contact Sussex Police on 101 or email. You can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.