Five arrested for over 300 scams which netted £200,000

Five men have been arrested.
Five men have been arrested.

Five men have been arrested in relation to a scam that saw hundreds of elderly victims being targeted by conmen.

Five men have been arrested in relation to a scam that saw hundreds of elderly victims being targeted by conmen.

The sting, which was carried out in partnership with the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit, Metropolitan Police and West Midlands Police, led to the arrest of a 24-year-old and two 23-year-olds from the London area and a further two 24-year-olds in Birmingham. They remain in custody on suspicion of fraud and money laundering.

More than 300 incidents were reported in the Humberside force area alone – with more victims targeted nationally.

The conmen claimed they were police officers, bank officials or HM Revenue and Customs officers and told their victims they were the victims of fraud.

They asked the victim to hang up and call their bank to confirm their story and to transfer funds to a safe account.

However, the call with the fraudster remained connected and when victims believed they were speaking to their bank, they were in fact speaking to the original caller, handing over personal details.

In some cases, the victim was persuaded to transfer cash to a ‘safe’ account or to hand over money to a courier, who was sent to collect the funds.

In total, 49 people had money stolen, with a combined total of more than £200,000 taken.

Officers investigating the scam in this area have today reiterated advice on how to avoid falling foul of similar conmen.

The basics include:

• Never give out bank or personal details to strangers

• Don’t had over money or transfer funds to unknown accounts

• If you believe you have been called, hang up and use another phone to call police. Don’t use the same phone immediately as the offender may be maintaining the connection.

If you are called as part of this scam, make a note of the details – including the number the bogus caller has rung from – and call 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.