POLICE have warned of scammers targeting people in Leominster, where in the past has involved people handing over their life savings.

West Mercia Police's safer neighbourhood team in Leominster said they have received reports scammers are posing as police officers asking for money.

Officers want to make as many people aware of the scam as on Friday they said it has involved people's life savings.

They reiterated police officers will never ask for bank details or money over the phone.

Earlier this year West Mercia Police warned of a rise of fraudsters claiming to be from Scotland Yard.

The force said scammers pose as police officers in an attempt to defraud people in a scam known as "courier fraud".

In some previous cases they said thousands of pounds have been taken from the elderly and vulnerable residents by criminals using this method.

In June, detective inspector Emma Wright said: “This type of fraud often targets older and more vulnerable people and we would urge everyone to tell someone, by passing on the information about the bogus callers to relatives, friends and neighbours who may not have heard about the local telephone scam in operation."

She added: “In the most recent incidents, DC Alex McQueen from Scotland Yard was used as an alias but the name they use is regularly changed.

"Always remember that no police officer from any force or department will ever ask you to hand over money or transfer funds, regardless of their name or unit.”

The deception can also be carried out in several ways, such as:

  • A phone caller pretending to be a police officer who is investigating unidentified activity/ fraud in their bank account and that they must cooperate with the ‘investigation’.
  • The victim is then persuaded to withdraw funds and hand them over to the 'investigators', either by some remote means or in person to a courier.
  • The victim is told that if the bank cashier queries the large withdrawal that they are to say it is for work/repairs in the home or Christmas shopping.
  • Alternatively the victim may be asked to hand over bank cards, vouchers or other valuable items. They may also be asked to transfer funds to another account, which is controlled by the fraudsters.

DI Emma Wright added: “Please remember the police will never contact you asking for your bank card or cash.

"If someone does, it's a scam – provide no details and hand nothing over, hang up and report it immediately to Action Fraud at 0300 123 2040."

“If the crime is still in progress, because for example, you have recently provided bank details or handed over cards or cash, or the caller has arranged for someone to visit your address to collect items, you should call the police to report this on 101. In an emergency dial 999.”