Police officers have prevented an elderly Dorset woman from losing £35,000 to scammers and are issuing advice to avoid others from being targeted.
Staff from Dorset Police’s Fraud Triage Team received information that the victim – aged in her 70s and from Poole – had fallen victim to a scam. The woman had been the victim of a separate scam in 2018 when she lost a substantial amount of money. It is believed her name and details are on a scamming list, which is passed between fraudsters.
When the officers visited the victim on Wednesday 4 September 2019 they discovered she was in the process of transferring £15,000 to scammers, who were purporting to be from a company dealing in a return investment. She said she had transferred an additional £20,000 the day before.
In May 2019 the victim was contacted by a company and informed she had shares that she was required to sell and she had to pay money to convert warrants to shares. She paid an amount of money to do this.
She was further contacted this week and told she, along with other shareholders, had to buy the director of the company out and was asked to pay £35,000. She said she had received numerous calls from an unknown number from Japan.
Fraud Investigator Shane Cherrett, of Dorset Police, said: ‘Thankfully we were able to intercept this recent fraud, stop the payments and refund the money back to the victim. We have also provided her with advice and support.
‘Scammers will repeatedly target known victims and will constantly change their story to make it sound plausible.
‘Our advice is very simple. Always be aware and take steps to verify the identity of a caller who is asking for money. A genuine caller will not mind waiting or calling back to allow you to do this.
‘Do not transfer money to a company you have not heard of or not requested work or services from. If you are concerned about the validity of something – stop and speak to someone for help and advice.
‘Anyone with concerns can contact Action Fraud or Dorset Police.’
For information and advice about scams in Dorset, go to the Fraud Alert page of our website – dorset.police.uk/fraud. To contact Action Fraud call 0300 123 2040.
If you have information about the scam of the Poole woman, or have been approached in a similar way, please contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55190138272. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.