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Warnings as scammers continue to target Shropshire's vulnerable

Crime | Published:

More people are being targeted by criminals pretending to be working on behalf of the police or HMRC.

West Mercia Police Chief Superintendent Tom Harding said a large number of people across Shropshire were now being targeted by the scam.

He said there are significant resources going into catching those responsible.

It comes just weeks after West Mercia Police warned about a surge in fraudsters claiming to be from various police services.

Officers urged people to get in touch with elderly and vulnerable friends and family to warn them of the risk and to know what to do.

Superintendent Harding said: "Unfortunately we are still seeing a large number of people being targeted across Shropshire where the caller claims they are Police or HMRC and they need to withdraw money for their safety.

"This is a despicable crime targeting older people. Please advise friends and family."

He said work is ongoing, but that arrests were being made.

Awareness

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"To reassure everyone we have significant resources working to target fraudsters who are targeting our community," he said.

"Work is ongoing but we have already had a number of arrests.

"We are visiting banks and working with communities to raise awareness."

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

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One Telford woman was scammed out of £3,800 by a fake police officer who convinced her people within her bank were handing out fake bank notes.

"I always trusted the police," she said.

"I've had dealings with them before and they've always been helpful to me. I just did as he said."

Through subtle manipulation, the scammer convinced her to withdraw money and hand it over to a courier, even though she felt uncomfortable about doing so.

For information about staying safe or to report a scam visit actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040.

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