Phone scam targeting elderly St Albans couple results in arrest

PUBLISHED: 12:15 16 May 2014

A 17 year old boy has been arrested

A 17 year old boy has been arrested

Archant

A teenage boy will appear in court after being arrested and charged in connection with an alleged phone scam in St Albans.

Detective Constable Paul Cullinan, from St Albans Local Crime Unit, is urging residents to be aware of such scams after an elderly couple were recently targeted.

At around 6pm on Wednesday, May 14, the couple were in the city centre when they were telephoned by someone claiming to be a police officer investigating fraudulent activity on their bank account.

The caller persuaded them to place their bank cards into an envelope and hand it over to a courier, who was sent to collect it.

However the couple alerted police to the alleged scam. Officers were then able to intercept the courier, preventing the victims’ bank cards being handed over to the offenders.

DC Cullinan said: “We are continuing to make arrests in connection with phone scams and our approach to those involved in this type of crime will not waiver.”

He warned people against giving bank account details or PIN number over the phone, no matter who the caller claims to be.

DC Cullinan also advised against sending money, personal property or bank cards to any such callers via a courier or taxi.

He added: “I would urge people to remain alert to the scam.

“If you are not happy with a phone call and are suspicious of the conversation, then please end the call and contact police.

“It’s important to remember, when reporting a suspicious phone call to police, to wait at least five minutes before attempting to make the call to ensure you’re not reconnected to the offender.

“Alternatively, use a mobile phone or a neighbour’s phone or test your landline by phoning a friend or relative first, to ensure you aren’t still unwittingly connected to the offender.”

Anyone with information in relation to phone scams should contact Herts Police via non-emergency number 101.

Alternatively call Crimestoppers, the independent charity, anonymously on 0800 555 111.

• A 17 year old from Islington has been charged with fraud by false representation and is due to appear at Central West Hertfordshire Youth Court on May 28.

For further information about phone scams please visit www.herts.police.uk/PhoneScams

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