Fraudster warning

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A trickster who claimed to be part of the “fraud squad” as part of an attempt to con an elderly woman was foiled when she saw through his ruse.

Police are now warning Fylde coast residents to be vigilant in case he strikes again.

Fortunately the woman involved was astute enough to realise that this was not a legitimate phone call and no money was taken from her

It follows a series of reports of callers posing as officials in an attempt to trick people into handing over money or bank details.

On Wednesday, the 82-year-old, from St Annes, got a phone call from a man claiming to be from the “fraud squad”.

He asked if she had withdrawn any money from her bank account the night before and told her somebody had tried to access her account but had not taken any money.

The caller asked the woman to withdraw £500 from her account then return the money the next day.

He said he would call back to check if she had withdrawn the cash before ending the conversation.

Suspicious

The woman became suspicious when she asked the caller which bank had been targeted and he failed to answer. He also knew some of her personal details but got some wrong.

Det Con Dave Little, of Blackpool CID, said the incident was “concerning” and friends advised her to call police after seeing warnings about similar cases.

He added: “Fortunately the woman involved was astute enough to realise that this was not a legitimate phone call and no money was taken from her.

“It serves as a warning to residents to remain vigilant at all times. People who commit these offences often target elderly members of the community and pose as officials to gain their confidence and trust.”

He said officers were working to see if the incident is linked to other similar cases around the country.

Police never request individuals’ bank details or ask them to withdraw money.

Anyone with information or who has had a similar call is asked to call police on 101.