Fraudsters impersonate police in cash scam across East Devon
PUBLISHED: 14:03 30 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:03 30 January 2020
Callous fraudsters are using scare tactics to con people in East Devon out of large sums of money.
There has been an increase locally in so-called 'courier fraud', including a case on Tuesday, January 28, in which the victim handed a four-figure sum of money to someone claiming to be a messenger from the police.
Officers are warning people not to be taken in by an official-sounding phone call claiming they need to make a cash payment.
Sergeant Andy Squires said: "It's happening across the force area, but East Devon is getting hit particularly hard at the minute.
"Basically somebody will ring up, and there are a number of reasons they'll give, culminating in this person needing to hand over two or three thousand pounds in cash and deliver it to a police station in London.
"One example was, 'your nephew's been arrested and you need to pay for his bail'.
"They'll say it needs to be in cash and needs to be delivered to the police station in London within the next 24 hours.
"The person will probably say, 'I can't possibly deliver it to the police station in London, I haven't got any means of getting there', and they'll say 'don't worry, a colleague of mine will come and collect it from you'.
"Six hours later someone will knock on their door and they'll hand over a big bundle of cash, and sometimes cards as well."
Devon and Cornwall Police have produced a leaflet giving details of the scam.
Sgt Squires said: "We want to get the message out that police will never ask for your bank details, and no legitimate organisation, let alone the police, will ever ask you to hand over cash on your doorstep."
The leaflet also warns that the telephone fraudster may ask their intended victim to hang up and call back to confirm. But in fact they will stay on the line and pretend to be someone else.
Anyone who has handed over cash, cards or personal details should contact the police and their bank immediately.