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Fraudster targets Wrexham woman on phone claiming to be a police officer

By Dayna Farrington | Crime | Published:

A fraudster targeted a Wrexham woman on the phone by claiming to be a police officer in London.

The woman received a phone call at around 2.30pm on January 25, from a man claiming to be a police officer at Hammersmith police station, in London.

He said that two people had been arrested using bank cards with her details on and he needed her home address to continue his policing work. When the woman refused, the caller threatened to have her arrested for perverting the course of justice.

The woman did not reveal her personal or financial details.

Officers from West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police are working in conjunction with Action Fraud to investigate the phone call - as well as two incidents in Warwickshire and five in Herefordshire which took place on the same day.

In an incident in Rugby, a woman received a phone call from a man claiming to be a police officer from 'the serious fraud office in Westminster'. The caller asked the woman to provide her bank details and to withdraw £5,000 from an ATM. She refused.

In five of the incidents, people were phoned by someone pretending to be from HM Revenue and Customs. The caller then stated that the people owed money, which could be paid in some sort of voucher - which turned out to be music or games vouchers. In three of these incidents, the caller said that a courier would visit to collect the vouchers.

Detective Sergeant Paul Bent, from Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police Economic Crime Unit, said: "Fraudsters like this can be really convincing, offering false job titles and lots of detail to support their claims.

"They try to rush you or put you on the spot - even threatening legal action in some cases, like the one in Leominster - to pressure you into making a quick decision.

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"In most cases like these, people trust their instincts and make the right decision, which is putting the phone down and reporting the incident to Action Fraud.

"We urge you to remember that a genuine bank or organisation will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, your password, or to move money to another account. Always question uninvited contact like this - you can contact the real organisation yourself using a known email or phone number.

"Trust your instincts - if a phone call, text or email seems dodgy it probably is."

To report a fraud or a suspicious incident, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit actionfraud.police.uk.

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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