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Man loses £30k to ‘cruel’ fake BT caller scam

Police have issued an urgent warning after an elderly victim lost £30,000 to ‘cruel’ criminals pretending to be from BT.

Heartless scammers, pretending to be from BT are calling local people and asking them to download an app on their mobile device, according to West Mercia Police.

Once the app has been downloaded, the offenders are then able to access the victim’s online banking.

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The warning comes after police received a report form an elderly victim yesterday (Thursday, September 23) who said he was telephoned and told by the fake BT staff that there was suspicious activity on his account.

Once he had downloaded the app onto his computer, the offenders took control. They showed him a transaction of £30,000 into his current account and said that he needed to transfer it into a different account for safekeeping.

The vulnerable victim was then asked to attend his bank, keeping his phone line open.

He then transferred the £30,000 into an unknown account. The victim has since found out that the original £30,000 had been transferred from his own savings account into his current account.

It was then transferred to the ‘safekeeping’ account, which was the offender’s.

Detective Sergeant John Higgins, from Shrewsbury CID, has issued a reminder that the police, the government or well-known companies will never ask people to transfer funds in such a way.

“This is a cruel fraud, abusing the trust that vulnerable people have with established and well known organisations they think they can trust,” he said.

“I want to reassure people that detectives are investigating the offenders and that we are working with UK Finance to make sure the appropriate level of Banking Protocol is in place to support and protect victims of fraud.

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“I would like to remind everyone that the police, government agencies and well-known companies such as BT will never ask you to transfer funds for them in this manner.

“They will certainly never ask you to attend your bank and if you or your family receive a call like this, hang up immediately.

“Please speak to your elderly family members, friends, customers and neighbours to make sure everyone is aware of this scam and to hang up the phone, wait tem minutes which will clear the telephone line and then call 101.”

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