"Professional" fraudsters operating in Cornwall and Devon
Police are warning that a "professional outfit" has been defrauding thousands of pounds from people in Cornwall and Devon, following a series of burglaries.
Last week, members of staff at doctors' surgeries in Liskeard and Newton Abbot had their wallets stolen.
In the days following the thefts, the victims received bogus phone calls which led to fraudulent activity.
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In both cases the caller, claiming to be from their bank, told the victim that arrests had been made and their property had been recovered.
The caller then requested the victim's bank pin codes to verify their account allowing them to make large withdrawals and purchases using the victim's details.
After initial enquires, police have identified a series of crimes with similar circumstances at business such as hotels, a golf club and a hospital in areas including Liskeard, Tiverton, Exeter (4), St Austell, Ottery St Mary and Chulmleigh.
PC Phil Tucker said: "We believe this to be a professional outfit operating across the Force area and not likely to be anyone known to the victims. We would emphasise people to challenge unknown people even if they appear to be staff."
"Police are advising people to be vigilant when dealing with unsolicited calls."
Banks and Building Societies will never ask for PIN numbers or sensitive information to be disclosed over the phone. If in any doubt take the contact details and phone the police.
www.actionfraud.org is a website that offers information and advice about the common and current frauds/scams that occur. It also offers advice on how to deal and prevent it.
Anyone who has any information is asked to call the police on 101 quoting crime ref. BD/13/546.