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Neil Hamilton urges public to be alert of gold scamming fraudsters

NEIL Hamilton, MS for Mid & West Wales, and Leader of UKIP Wales, is urging his constituents to be aware of another scam operating in his Region.

Mr Hamilton, a member of the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs committee, has added his voice to a warning from Dyfed-Powys Police who are telling people not to be taken in by courier fraud scammers.
He said:

“I make no apologies for once again highlighting the scams which are currently circulating and urge my constituents to be aware of these fraudsters.

“It is scandalous and alarming that these scammers seem determined to take advantage of others while the rest of the country continues to fight Covid-19. This latest scam is particularly despicable as people are being approached by someone claiming to be a police officer.

“I am saddened to hear about the five people who have already been conned and urge everyone to be extra vigilant at this time.

“If you are suspicious about a call or an email then do not give out any personal details. End the call immediately and report the matter.”

Dyfed- Powys Police say scammers are continuing to target people in new ways, with victims now being asked to buy gold to hand to a courier working for the police.

Last week an elderly woman in West Wales fell victim to courier fraud after being conned into believing she was working with police to prevent fraud. She was tricked into buying more than £10,000 of gold and handing it over to scammers.

DC Gareth Jordan, from Dyfed-Powys Police’s cybercrime team, said the recent crimes had seen victims called by someone purporting to be a police officer from Paddington Police Station.

He said: “The fake police officer tells them about fraudulent activity on the persons bank card, or tells them that they need to transfer money to another account due to suspicious activity.

“It is the prelude to courier fraud, where someone comes to pick up the bank card, after extracting all the details such as PIN from the victim, or getting the person to go to the bank to withdraw money that can then be collected or sometimes transferred into other accounts.”

Since October the force has received complaints of 62 courier fraud calls. Thankfully 52 of the potential victims realised it was fraud, with a further five prevented when the bank intervened. Sadly, five people fell victim to the criminals – two handed over gold, while three gave cash. Their total losses were £63,000.

DC Jordan said: “This scam is often aimed at the older generation, who have a respect for the police and may fall for the story that much more readily.

“What is worrying is that it can be just the start of further fraudulent activity including phoning the victim up stating they are the bank and getting the victim to transfer money to another account in the deceitful belief that their own account is now at risk due to fraudulent bank card use. The third part is investment fraud and gold purchases.”

He warned the scam begins with a person, usually male phoning the victim pretending to be a police officer. The bogus police officer explains that the victim’s bank accounts are under threat from fraudsters. He convinces the victim to participate in a fictitious undercover police operation to catch the fraudsters and safeguard their funds.

They are told not to inform anyone, including their bank, as bank staff are equally under suspicion. Often the bogus police officer discloses private financial information about the victim, which is used to encourage the victim to trust them.

Always remember the police, or your bank, will never ask you to withdraw money or transfer it to a different account, your bank will never send a courier to your home, your bank and the police will never collect your bank card and your bank and the police will never ask you to reveal your full banking password or PIN. If you receive one of these calls, end it immediately and do not click on links or attachments in unexpected or suspicious texts or emails.

If you think you, or someone you know, may have been targeted by scammers, please report it to the police or email 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk or call 101.

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