TRICKSTERS almost conned a Felixstowe pensioner out of £40,000 after persuading her to transfer her savings into a fraudulent account, it was revealed today.

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The sophisticated scam is targeting older people – informing them that they need to close their existing bank accounts and move the money because of thefts from their accounts.

They are told not to tell anyone because the so-called thefts were an “inside job” at the bank and investigators did not want the criminals alerted.

Police are today warning people to be on their guard and to never give out bank details and always be extremely cautious when dealing with unknown callers.

A spokeswoman said officers were initially contacted around 8.30pm Thursday by a woman who reported she had taken a call earlier in the day from a man claiming to work for a bank and who told her several small amounts had been taken from her account.

He asked for her bank details, which she gave, and advised her that she shouldn’t tell anyone about the incident as it was the people at the bank who were taking her money.

He then advised her to move all the money from her existing accounts into an account he would set up for her.

Then, just before midday on today, police were contacted by a member of staff at a bank in Felixstowe advising that one of their older customers had been trying to transfer almost £40,000 into a fraudulent account.

The man had also been advised to withdraw all his money as there had been “an inside job” at the bank.

“Police are currently working to alert other banks in the area and are urging residents and bank staff to be aware of the scam,” said the police spokeswoman.

“It’s thought the fraudsters may also try other ruses to convince the people they are calling including giving them a number which they claim is for police – so when the victim calls they believe they are talking to officers when really they are talking to those operating the scam.”

Police say people should hang up if they believe they are being targeted – or call their bank, using a number from a statement or the phone book, if they are concerned.

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