Police are urging Cheshire residents to be vigilant after a bank in Widnes was notified of seven of its customers having been targeted by telephone scammers in a single day.
The customers informed NatWest on Widnes Road on Wednesday 10 July that they had received phone calls from people purporting to work for the bank.
The scammers claimed that £600 was about to be stolen from the customers’ accounts and asked for their account number details in order to stop the transactions.
Only one of these customers reported the incident to the police.
Since the start of July people living across Cheshire – including in Runcorn, Warrington, Chester, Crewe and Frodsham – have been targeted with the same scam.
Thankfully none of the people targeted that police are aware of have divulged account details to the telephone scammers.
Superintendent Peter Crowcroft said: “We are receiving more and more reports of this latest telephone scam targeting residents across Cheshire.
“But we are aware that many others are not being reported to us.
“On some occasions the over-the-phone scammers have spoken to the people targeted and on others voicemail messages have been left requesting that they press the number ‘one’ on their keypads.
“Such scams are orchestrated by serious organised crime groups aiming to gain access to people’s bank account details and then steal money from them.
“They use a range of tactics to achieve this goal and over-the-phone fraudsters can be very convincing.
“I urge anyone in Cheshire who has been targeted with this scam to let us know about it, including the telephone number that you were contacted from if you know it.
“The more information we receive regarding the scam the better the chance we have of putting a stop to it.
“I also urge Cheshire residents to be vigilant and to follow our advice on how to avoid falling victim to such scams.”
The force’s advice to prevent yourself from falling victim to such scams is:
- Be wary of any calls, texts or emails from anyone asking for your personal or financial details, or for you to transfer money
- Do not give any personal information (name, address, bank details, email address or phone number) to anyone before verifying that they are who they say they are
- If you are contact by someone you believe may be a fraudster, or feel something is suspicious, hang up the phone and do not reply.
Supt Crowcroft added: “If you have elderly relatives or neighbours please ensure that they are aware of such scams and that you do everything you can to safeguard them and their savings.”
Anyone who has been targeted by telephone scammers should contact Cheshire Constabulary on 101, Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 and your bank on its advertised number.