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Ipswich: ‘Open line’ phone scam alert as two people taken for thousands

PUBLISHED: 22:10 04 March 2014 | UPDATED: 22:10 04 March 2014

Police are warning residents to be aware of a phone scam

Police are warning residents to be aware of a phone scam

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

Two people have been conned out of thousands of pounds by scam artists operating in the Ipswich area.

Police are urging people not to give out personal banking information and to never hand over bank cards after two scams were reported to officers within minutes.

At 8.30pm police were contacted by a man in Ipswich who had taken a call from someone claiming to work for a bank advising that an attempt had been made to take money from his account. The man called a number supposedly for his bank and gave details of everyone in the family who banked online, including their passwords.

Just two minutes later, police took another call from a 93-year-old woman who had taken a call at 8pm from a man claiming to be a police officer at Holborn, in London, who told her to ring the number on her bank card. She did this and was told that someone was coming to collect her bank cards. A foreign man then arrived at her address and she handed the cards over.

It is thought that both scams involved telephone lines being left open, so that residents thought they were speaking to the relevant bank but were really still on line to the criminals who made the original call.

Police have asked people to remember that neither your bank nor the police will never ask for your PIN, bank card or bank account details over the phone.

The police will never call you and ask you to withdraw money from your account, and will never ask you to handover bank cards, to give to a courier or taxi driver, regardless of how convincing the caller may seem.

A police spokeswoman said: “If you receive such a call, leave the landline for at least five minutes to make an outside call. Fraudsters will keep the line open and have been known to play ring tones, hold music and a recorded message down the phone so the victim believes they are making a call to a legitimate number.”

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