The experience of a Bromley resident who unwittingly gave £10,000 to a courier following a scam call has prompted the council’s trading standards team to issue a warning.

Residents are being warned and reminded to be highly cautious when answering a phone call where the caller, however plausible, asks for money or personal details.  The warning follows an incident last month where a resident received a phone call purporting to be from the police, when in reality it was a fraudster.

In the conversation, the resident was led to believe that they were assisting a police investigation and were sworn to secrecy, keeping them from speaking about it. During the phone call, the resident was instructed to withdraw £5,000 from their bank twice and was told to lie about what the money was for. The resident then withdrew money in secret from their bank account, which was given to the scamming gang by a courier who attended the resident’s home.

Councillor Angela Page, Executive Councillor for Public Protection and Enforcement, said: “This was a highly distressing incident and is a stark reminder that we all need to be highly wary. Please do not lower your guard when on the phone and be very wary about disclosing personal details, including banking information. Please also share this warning with family members and friends, particularly those who may be older and are particularly susceptible to this type of cruel hoax and are specifically targeted as well.”

Residents are being advised to be cautious when receiving unexpected phone calls where the caller is claiming to be either the bank, another financial institution, such as a credit card company, or the police. Make sure the phone line is properly disconnected before calling back and call 999 for police or 159 for your bank to check your account is secure.

Practical advice and information about how to prevent what is often referred to as courier fraud is available by visiting the Action Fraud website.

Ends

Notes to editors:

The council has chosen not to reveal the identity of the resident for their safety

Published: 14th November 2022