arrests in London over £1m fraud which affected Burnham
men have been arrested in London as part of an investigation into
a £1m fraud scam, which has seen elderly people in the Burnham-On-Sea
warrants were executed at three properties in Tower Hamlets in
East London on Monday where three 18-year-olds were detained on
suspicion of fraud.
than 300 mainly elderly people have been tricked out of money
across the south west, police said. Many of those were fooled
into sending money to fraudsters pretending to be officers investigating
crimes, as reported by Burnham-On-Sea.com here.
police said "elaborate and convincing reasons" are used
to encourage the victim to withdraw large sums of cash which are
then sent to London by taxi or courier, or transferred electronically
to a fraudulent bank account.
fraudster claims the money is potential evidence for an investigation
and is needed for forensic examination. One victim handed over
three-month investigation has been led by Zephyr, the Police's
south-west regional organised crime unit.
Ch Insp Will White said: "Today's arrests should provide
some reassurance that we are working with colleagues in forces
in the South West to tackle this despicable form of crime which
preys in the main on the elderly and vulnerable."
out of every 10 people contacted have been aged over 60, police
said. "Broadly the same approach has been used by a number
of fraudsters across the South West and in other parts of the
country. The scam started in the south east of England but has
spread much wider," said Mr White.
police and the banks will never ask you for banking details or
Pin numbers on the phone. Similarly, they would never send a so-called
'courier' to collect bank cards or money."
He added: "The more we talk about this scam and the more
people who are made aware of it, the less likely that they are
to become victims. We need people to spread the word. If you have
elderly and vulnerable relatives, neighbours, colleagues and friends
warn them to be vigilant and on their guard for telephone calls
of this kind."
are particularly appealing to three broad groups of people to
help us prevent these crimes: Children, grandchildren, relatives
and friends of the elderly and vulnerable - please share this
advice and if concerned, ask questions; We want taxi company owners
and drivers to be vigilant; and, thirdly, we want staff at banks
and other financial institutions to be suspicious if elderly customers
uncharacteristically draw large amounts of cash."
White added: "The police and the banks will never ask you
for banking details or PIN numbers on the phone. Similarly, they
would never send a so-called courier to collect bank
cards or money."
"In previous incidents the victims did the right thing when
they became suspicious of callers. They hung up the phone and
called the police. They waited until they could hear a dialling
tone or used a different phone to call us, ensuring that the scammers
werent still connected to the line."