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Police reissue warning as fraudsters target vulnerable people across Shropshire

By Rory Smith | Crime | Published:

Scam artists are continuing to target vulnerable people in Shropshire over the Christmas period, police chiefs have said.

Officers from West Mercia Police have reissued a warning to residents over an increasing amount of fraudsters attempting to con people in the build up to Christmas.

The Operations and Communications Centre of West Mercia Police this week said members of the public are continuing to report a large number of incidents, some of which involve money changing hands.

Across West Mercia in the last week there have been several successful and unsuccessful attempts to defraud people using telephone scams.

These include callers pretending to be police officers from the Fraud Squad.

In some cases there have been thousands of pounds successfully taken from the elderly and vulnerable residents by criminals pretending to be police officers.

The convincing schemes often involve scammers demanding large sums of money to be left for couriers to come and collect.

Officers tweeted: "We have been receiving a large number of calls from the public, regarding persons ringing them, claiming to be a police officer, asking for large sums of money to be moved from private bank accounts.

"This is a scam, do not engage, hang up the phone."

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On Wednesday officers covering Shropshire confirmed the fraud attempts are ongoing across the county.

Shropshire Police tweeted: "A number of reports of this in Shropshire, thankfully the majority of those contacting us haven't handed over any money.

"Please share the word it's a #scam."

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Superintendent Paul Moxley advised residents to hang up any calls that seem suspicious or involve bank details, wait 10 minutes to ensure the call has disconnected and report it to police on 101.

He said: "Scams can be very elaborate, very convincing and cruel. If you think someone is trying to scam you, tell someone straight away. Don't be pressured. Give yourself time to stop and think."

This comes after a woman from Telford told the Shropshire Star how she was conned out of £3,800 by a 'police man' who told her she had been victim of a crime.

The rollercoaster conversation led the woman, in her 60s, to handing over nearly £4,000 in cash to a courier at her gate.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley, Telford.

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