Even though people are well aware of the danger of bogus callers and the risks posed by people who claim to be in a position of authority it is still very easy to see why some people will make the mistake of taking information or people at face value. This can be extremely true when it involves the victim being elderly or the person committing the fraud claiming to be a police officer. Even with a number of warnings about not taking people at face value, if someone claims to be a police officer, there is a natural instinct for many people to accept what they are saying and follow their instructions. This is a great shame because it provides an opportunity for some criminals to carry out a fraudulent activity that can see them much better off and the victim much worse off.
This has been the case in the Thames Valley of late with the local police force taking the time to warn local residents of a particular style of fraud has been taking place. An elderly man who lives in Wraysbury received a phone call from someone who claimed to be calling them from Surrey Police. The elderly man was informed that the police were holding a person in custody that had been using the elderly man’s card. The man informed the police officer that he would look into the matter and then tell his bank.
People can be Conned in many different ways
However, within minutes, the man received a call from his bank (of course, it was allegedly from his bank) and the person on the other end of the line informed him that the police had been in touch with them and they then asked the man for all of his card details. People should know never to provide card details when you are contacted and asked for them but in this scenario, it is easy to see why the man thought he was being helpful. With the benefit of hindsight and in the cold light of day, it is easy to see that this was a complex fraud being carried out but when it all comes upon you at once, it is unlikely that you will be thinking straight. After having provided all of his card details to what he believed to be someone from the security department of his bank, the man was instructed to cut his card in half and then wait on a courier coming round to take the card away.
The courier was a local taxi driver but then became suspicious of the package and he informed the local police force after he had spoken to the elderly resident. It turned out that the fraudsters had even charged the cost of the courier service, £75, to the card of the man. This has led to the police force reiterating the need to be aware of this style of fraud. Local media has reported it as the police force informing people to be aware of courier fraud, but that isn’t really the key aspect to take away from this style of this crime. The fraudster is impersonating a police officer and then a banking official in order to obtain relevant details and information about a person’s bank card. Even without the courier element being attached at the end, the first two steps would still be more than enough to see a person being defrauded by a considerable amount of money.
Your Personal Details should remain Personal
It is important that people remember never to give their details away unless they can be 100% certain who is asking for them. Banks are quick to state that they will never ask for personal or banking details in this manner on the phone but of course, the circumstances of the fraud, which had been cleverly thought out by the criminals can cause people to lower their guard or not be as focused as they normally would be.
This is quite a complex crime and the element of impersonating a police officer could lead to more serious implications if the fraudster is ever caught. In this regard, a criminal defence solicitor would need to call upon many areas of the law to represent their client in the most effective and efficient manner.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.