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Police Issue Further Telephone Scam Warning

Published on: 20 Jul, 2015
Updated on: 24 Jul, 2015

telephone-scam“Remain vigilant” is the message from Surrey Police detectives  after fraudsters stole over £4,000 from an elderly man in Guildford.

The incident occurred around 3pm on Wednesday, July 1 when the victim, a man in his 80s, received a telephone call at home from a man claiming to be Detective Derrick Mews from the fraud squad at HSBC.

The caller told the elderly victim that he had arrested a man at Harrods for using a clone of his bank card and that the man worked at the Guildford branch of HSBC.

The suspect told the victim to go to HSBC and write a cheque for £4,450 and then change it for cash. The suspect said they would pay the money back into his account later that day along with an extra £3,725 as a reward for helping them. The victim agreed and the suspect arranged for a taxi to collect him from his address, take him into town and then take him home.

The victim went to the bank and withdrew the money before going home. Around 6pm, a man described as 5ft 8 tall, average build, dark skinned with short dark hair and wearing a maroon short-sleeved top and jeans, turned up at the victim’s address and took the money.

Two further incidents (on July 6 and 8) with the same modus operandi have been reported to police. One Guildford householder was conned into parting with £4,000, while in the second incident the resident became suspicious, terminated the call and then phoned Surrey Police.

Detective Constable Will Marsh, who is investigating the incident, said: “Unfortunately, these latest incidents show that these fraudsters are still getting away with this scam.

“We are again urging residents to report any suspicious calls from people claiming to be a police officer or bank worker as a matter of urgency. Never give out any personal information over the phone and query who the caller is if you don’t believe they are genuine.

“The version of events they describe might seem plausible but I would like stress that these requests are not genuine and that no police officer or bank would operate in this manner and would never require a customer to withdraw money over the phone.

“Unfortunately on this occasion, the victim lost a significant sum of money as a result of this scam. We need the public to help us prevent this happening in the future.

“These offences are particularly appalling as the suspects appear to be deliberately targeting elderly and vulnerable members of our communities and this cannot, and will not, be tolerated.”

The police are reminding the public to protect themselves by heeding the following advice:

• Never give out any personal information about your bank account to anybody over the phone.

• If someone calls claiming to be a police officer, ask for their identification number, police force and their telephone extension. Hang up the call, and advise that you will call them back using the 101 number.

• Use a different phone line to call back if possible, e.g. a mobile phone if the call was received on your land line.

• If you have given out information which could compromise your bank account security in any way, call your bank up to cancel your cards as soon as possible.

• Never hand over money to someone at the door to be sent off elsewhere.

• If someone comes to your door claiming to be a police officer or staff member, always ask for identification and make note of their identification number.

Feature Surrey police badge 3If you have any details on the incident in Guildford please call Surrey Police on 101, quoting reference 45150056861.

Alternatively please call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or you can report the incident online by visiting:


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Responses to Police Issue Further Telephone Scam Warning

  1. Paul Robinson Reply

    July 22, 2015 at 1:23 am

    Today my wife took a call from someone who said they were calling from the VISA Fraud Dept and that her bank card had been used in Harrods to buy a £3000 TV. They wanted to know if she had her card with her and if anybody else had access to the account. She said I did.

    Anyway, she said she would call her bank. She then told me about the call and I said ignore it. They probably didn’t hang the phone up at their end in the hope she would immediately call the bank and end up speaking to them again pretending to be the bank.

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