Phone scammers target further elderly people in Grantham area

Be wary of suspicious phone calls
Be wary of suspicious phone calls
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Two further pensioners have been targeted by phone scammers, just days after the Journal reported that a 92-year-old Grantham woman was conned out of £23,000.

The caller claimed to be from Barclays bank - click here for more on this story.

On Wednesday, police received a call relating to an attempted scam of an 85-year-old man in Harlaxton. In a similar set of circumstances, he had been contacted on his landline by someone pretending to be from Lloyds Bank who said there had been some fraudulent activity on his account. He was told he should go to the bank and transfer £80,000 into a separate account. The gentleman realised something was not quite right about the situation and reported it to police. (Incident 249 of 09/03/2016)

Yesterday (Thursday), officers received a call relating to a 77-year-old who had reported receiving between three and five calls a day from companies who were advising him to transfer his savings. In the most recent call someone claiming to be from the Met Police stated he was an investigator and the gentleman would be arrested if he did not comply. He did not transfer any money. (Incident 337 of 10/03/2016)

Inspector Gary Stewart said: “I would like to make very clear that these types of scams are nationwide and it seems to be coincidental that we have had three in the space of one week where residents in the Grantham area are being targeted. We have no reason to believe that elderly or vulnerable people in Grantham are specifically being pinpointed.

“However, what we don’t know is how these people are being chosen. Are these scammers simply calling as many numbers as they can and latching on to someone when they engage with them? Or are they already aware of people who might be vulnerable? All this is part of our investigation and we are working with other forces who have had similar offences.

“What we really need is to hear from anyone who has experienced anything like this, even if it just seemed an annoying call. It’s possible that call could have been a scammer who in the next few minutes went on to defraud someone of their life savings.

“They have no morals. They more we get to know about them the closer it may bring us to tracking them down so please do give us that information.

“I would also like to impress upon any people who have family and friends who may be elderly or vulnerable how important it is to talk to them and advise them on these types of scams. The more we can remind individuals not to engage with these scammers the better chance we have of preventing anyone becoming further victims.”

Crime prevention tactical advisor Sally Picker added: “There are a number of ways to stop these calls coming through to you, and ways to stop getting any repeat calls.

“The first option may be to get a call blocking device. This is a small machine where you can press a red button when you are on the phone and realise it is a nuisance call, it then stops that number from being able to call you again. They cost around £50 and there are a number of options available. There are at least two products on the market which are Secured by Design – Callblocker – www.cprcallblocker.com and TrueCall – www.trueCall.co.uk

“You can also register your number with the Telephone Preference Service. This helps block nuisance calls because you are added to their database and don’t want to receive sales amd marketing calls. www.tpsonline.org.uk/tps/number_type.html

“Above all else, if these calls do come through please report them to us as soon as possible.”