Elderly residents in Poole and Dorset in danger of telephone scams

If you have an elderly relative, that may or may not need home care, they may be in danger of scam calls. Dorset Police have asked us to share this video to raise awareness of some of the tactics these heartless people use to gain people’s trust.

 

Dorset Police say that the most recent telecoms operator to join police in the fight against phone fraud, also known as courier fraud, is BT. BT has significantly reduced the time that a phone line stays open in Dorset to two seconds, which means that the person who has received the call can make another call almost immediately without the other person staying on the line.

Criminals relied on lines staying open to continue their scam.

Fraudsters rang their victims and pretended to be from the police, their bank or a retailer and told them that their account had been compromised and they needed to transfer the money over to them for safe keeping or send it to them via courier.

They instructed the worried victim to ring them back to ensure the call was genuine. But in fact, they stayed on the line, so once the caller thought they were speaking to someone in authority, they were actually speaking to criminals who were pretending to be someone else.

The fraudsters have cost Dorset residents over £1 million over the last 15 months. The total amount lost per month has declined since March 2015.

There were 178 offences of telephone fraud reported to Dorset Police in March this year, with 19 losses totalling nearly £130,000. In April, there were 168 reports with six losses, totalling £46,000 and 15 offences were reported to the police in May, totalling £21,500 from three victims.

The last report of telephone fraud was on Friday 22 May 2015.

Detective Chief Inspector, Jez Noyce said: “We have worked with the telecoms companies to shut down the lines which have previously been kept open until both parties hang up. The latest figures show that this tactic, along with partnership working and our social media campaign ‘Hang Up On Fraudsters’, has obviously helped reduce the number of victims considerably, which is good news for everyone.”

Good Oaks’ Response

Good Oaks’ Director, Ben Ashton, said “Good Oaks are delighted that the Hang Up On Fraudsters campaign has been a success, and we are glad to have done our bit by distributing leaflets to all our clients, and keeping our carers informed. Our home carers and live-in carers are always vigilant to safeguarding issues such as this, and act swiftly when they are worried that there may be something amiss.

“All our carers have regular safeguarding training and team meetings, where developments like this are discussed. It’s important that our carers go the extra mile and look out for the well-being of our clients. Live-in Care, where someone is always on-hand 24 hours a day, can safeguard against fraudsters contacting vulnerable people at home.”


Police Advisory Guidelines:

  • The police, bank or retailer will NEVER call you asking for your bank details
  • NEVER give out your bank details or Personal Identification Number (PIN) over the phone
  • NEVER send money or cash cards via taxi or courier
  • If you receive a suspicious call, hang up, wait five minutes (or use a different phone), dial 1471 and then call the police immediately on 101