Two Eastbourne businesses have received commendation and praise from the local police for detecting suspicious transactions conducted by fraudsters, and saving potential victims from being defrauded of money via an elaborated scheme.
Between the 27th and 30th of November, a total of 12 Eastbourne residents were called up by anonymous people who claimed to be police officers. The supposed officers (fraudsters) further elaborated to the residents that their reason for calling was to inform them that their bank accounts had been used or were being used for fraudulent purposes.
The callers further went on to explain to the victims how they could assist them in keeping their money safe. They cleverly provided the residents with the either of the following alternatives with the aim that someone would follow through, and they would swindle that person of their money.
- To either send then their account PIN numbers.
- To transfer the funds from their accounts to the other account numbers, they would designate for safe keeping.
- To withdraw the funds in their accounts and a courier would pick the money up from them with the notion of taking it to a secure location safe keeping.
Nonetheless, in all the cases brought forward, except one, the trick was quickly identified, and no monies were handed over to the schemers.
On the 27th of November, a 47-year-old man received the questionable call and was directed to pay a visit to his Building Society in the town that is a branch of a Nationwide Society, and transfer money in the sum of £9,345 to the fraudsters. Fortunately, the staff at the Building Society became suspicious of the transaction, and they declined to make the transfer after the man had left. When the man came back to the Building Society looking to confirm the transfer, fortunately, the staff managed to convince him eventually into not going through with it; indicating it was a scam. Unfortunately, however, when the man had left the Building Society initially, the tricky caller had made another call to the man, and he had managed to convince the man to give him £1000. According to the man, the caller appeared at the man’s residence and proceeded to identify himself as the caller before picking up the money.
In another incident that occurred on the 30th of November, a man, 82 years of age, received a similar call from a fraudster and he was directed to acquire €5000 in cash. The man did as instructed and withdrew the amount from the Bureau de Change at Marks and Spencer. Fortunately, before the man had proceeded any further with the instructions provided to him, the attentive staff at the Bureau intuitively sensed that something was amiss and urged the man not to continue.
Emma Brice, the Chief Inspector, commended the people who were receiving the calls for not getting involved in the matter but rather choosing to involve the police. She also recognised and praised the efforts of the local businesses that were on the lookout for such scams.
She added that thankfully, most of the attempts made by the callers failed because the residents who received the calls were alert and did not get fooled. However, she urged the residents who got hold of this information on the scammers to pass on a warning to their friends and relatives who may still be unaware of this current type of targeted fraud.
On another note, she encourages the residents of Eastbourne to continue resisting the notorious callers, whom unfortunately seem to be targeting the elderly and vulnerable members of society. This is mainly because; the senior citizens can easily be fooled and confused to the trickery of the schemers.