‘Convincing telephone con nearly cost me lots of cash’

The Oxford Times: Paul Fletcher narrowly avoided being conned Paul Fletcher narrowly avoided being conned

A MAN who says he “foolishly” fell victim to a phone scam has swallowed his pride to warn others of the fraud.

Paul Fletcher, from Cutteslowe, is one of about 20 Oxford residents to report the con to police in the last six months.

The scam sees fraudsters calling victims pretending to be London police officers investigating a fraud.

Victims are told their bank accounts are insecure and told to withdraw all their money while a taxi is sent to their home to pick it up.

Banbury Road resident Mr Fletcher was targeted on January 31 and withdrew a large amount of cash from Barclays Bank in Summertown before he realised just in time that he was being scammed.

He said: “My message to people is to be on your guard. I had a close shave. At the expense of looking foolish I would like to help other people avoid this.”

The 63-year-old said the caller told him two men had been arrested and found in possession of his bank details.

The fake cop also told him someone from his bank was under investigation.

He said: “It was so convincing. I thought I was helping the police.

“They assured me that they would be safeguarding my money and asked my assistance in stopping it happening to anyone else.”

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The scam sees the caller urge the victim to check their call is genuine by hanging up and calling the 101 non-emergency police number and also the number on the back of their bank card.

But the fraudster stays on the line and pretends to be police and bank staff while the unwitting victim verifies the claims.

Mr Fletcher said: “I thought I had cleared it with police and I thought I had cleared it with Barclays.”

The former social care chief executive said he realised it was a scam when the caller told him to hand the cash over to a taxi driver.

He said: “As soon as I got home I called 999 and got through to the real police.”

Dc Darren Little said the best way of stopping the fraudsters was to warn people of the ploy.

He said: “Primarily they are targeting elderly and vulnerable people more susceptive to the scam.”

And he added: “I suspect it is a scam being used by lots of different groups.”

Call Dc Little on 101 if you have any information.

  • ABOUT 20 cases had been reported in the city in the last six months with about half of the victims handing thousands of pounds over.
  • Pc Darren Little, of Oxford CID, said taxi firms had also been told to look out for suspicious bookings.
  • Last month Cherwell police officers warned of the same fraud in the Oxford Mail after elderly victims were conned out of more than £58,000.

Comments (12)

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8:43am Sat 8 Feb 14

Muckaway says...

I bet the man in question is also set to pocket £6m for helping a nice Nigerian with setting up a bank account....
....Before a bunch of pikeys tarmac his drive and re-roof his house.
I bet the man in question is also set to pocket £6m for helping a nice Nigerian with setting up a bank account.... ....Before a bunch of pikeys tarmac his drive and re-roof his house. Muckaway
  • Score: 0

9:07am Sat 8 Feb 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

"Victims are told their bank accounts are insecure and told to withdraw all their money while a taxi is sent to their home to pick it up."........
.......Anybody, with even half a borrowed brain cell, would realise at this point, that it's a con.
It amazes me how many people are falling for obvious scams, if he police wanted to speak to you about something like this, you'd get a knock on your door, not a phone call.
"Victims are told their bank accounts are insecure and told to withdraw all their money while a taxi is sent to their home to pick it up."........ .......Anybody, with even half a borrowed brain cell, would realise at this point, that it's a con. It amazes me how many people are falling for obvious scams, if he police wanted to speak to you about something like this, you'd get a knock on your door, not a phone call. Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 4

10:35am Sat 8 Feb 14

Doctor69 says...

Go and draw out all your cash, and give it to the guy in the taxi?!......yea alright!

Christ, if you fall for this you deserve to be conned!
Go and draw out all your cash, and give it to the guy in the taxi?!......yea alright! Christ, if you fall for this you deserve to be conned! Doctor69
  • Score: 5

2:35pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Dilligaf2010 wrote:
"Victims are told their bank accounts are insecure and told to withdraw all their money while a taxi is sent to their home to pick it up."........
.......Anybody, with even half a borrowed brain cell, would realise at this point, that it's a con.
It amazes me how many people are falling for obvious scams, if he police wanted to speak to you about something like this, you'd get a knock on your door, not a phone call.
This is why it is also important to verify the identity of people who call at your door... It costs a few £ to print a "district council" logo on a fleece or lanyard. Not much more expensive to fake a police uniform either.

Unless it is life threatening, there is no phone call that can't be pondered over a cup of tea and cake before responding.
[quote][p][bold]Dilligaf2010[/bold] wrote: "Victims are told their bank accounts are insecure and told to withdraw all their money while a taxi is sent to their home to pick it up."........ .......Anybody, with even half a borrowed brain cell, would realise at this point, that it's a con. It amazes me how many people are falling for obvious scams, if he police wanted to speak to you about something like this, you'd get a knock on your door, not a phone call.[/p][/quote]This is why it is also important to verify the identity of people who call at your door... It costs a few £ to print a "district council" logo on a fleece or lanyard. Not much more expensive to fake a police uniform either. Unless it is life threatening, there is no phone call that can't be pondered over a cup of tea and cake before responding. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 8

4:09pm Sat 8 Feb 14

dant40 says...

Lights on but no ones in What a plank.
Lights on but no ones in What a plank. dant40
  • Score: -1

11:44pm Sat 8 Feb 14

H.J.Harris says...

I think Mr Fletcher is a brave man for "sticking his head above the parapet" and risking ridicule.
Many, possibly most, of us would not fall for this scam but some might. It has been reported that plenty have been sucked in by the Nigerian schemes so there are plenty of unwary people out there.
I think Mr Fletcher is a brave man for "sticking his head above the parapet" and risking ridicule. Many, possibly most, of us would not fall for this scam but some might. It has been reported that plenty have been sucked in by the Nigerian schemes so there are plenty of unwary people out there. H.J.Harris
  • Score: 9

9:44am Sun 9 Feb 14

harleyroadmum says...

This happened to me as well just before Christmas although I also realised as "PC Martin from Paddington Green Police Station" used my maiden name (which I assume he'd obtained from the phone book). I am used to dealing with difficult people at work but it is actually really disturbing if you end up with someone on the phone claiming (very persuasively) that they are the police. In the end I just put the phone down but it really bothered me that there was nothing really I could do (I did report it to the police..) and the next person to answer the phone might have been my or your elderly relatives...horrible people out there.
This happened to me as well just before Christmas although I also realised as "PC Martin from Paddington Green Police Station" used my maiden name (which I assume he'd obtained from the phone book). I am used to dealing with difficult people at work but it is actually really disturbing if you end up with someone on the phone claiming (very persuasively) that they are the police. In the end I just put the phone down but it really bothered me that there was nothing really I could do (I did report it to the police..) and the next person to answer the phone might have been my or your elderly relatives...horrible people out there. harleyroadmum
  • Score: 5

9:46am Sun 9 Feb 14

harleyroadmum says...

It is useful to know that the genuine Police said they would never phone anyone about a bank account etc.
It is useful to know that the genuine Police said they would never phone anyone about a bank account etc. harleyroadmum
  • Score: 3

2:40pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Muckaway says...

A warning to the gulliable in Witney.
The Pikeys are trying to cash in on the weather by going around offering to clean out guttering. Just had them knock at my door, but as I already have enough pegs, lucky heather and I am quite capable of laying my own sub standard driveway, I shut the door on them.
A warning to the gulliable in Witney. The Pikeys are trying to cash in on the weather by going around offering to clean out guttering. Just had them knock at my door, but as I already have enough pegs, lucky heather and I am quite capable of laying my own sub standard driveway, I shut the door on them. Muckaway
  • Score: 3

5:32pm Sun 9 Feb 14

YellowRose says...

Yes, two blokes were knocking on doors today in my area of Witney; only one person answered as far as I could see. The bloke pointed up to the roof and was sent on his way! One was wearing a yellow high viz jacket. I didn't see a vehicle so couldn't take any useful details which I would normally do. I ignored the loud knock needless to say.
Yes, two blokes were knocking on doors today in my area of Witney; only one person answered as far as I could see. The bloke pointed up to the roof and was sent on his way! One was wearing a yellow high viz jacket. I didn't see a vehicle so couldn't take any useful details which I would normally do. I ignored the loud knock needless to say. YellowRose
  • Score: 1

6:05pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Muckaway says...

I saw the **** in the hi viz. I wonder if his big toes went all the way to the end of his shoes?
They'll probably be back during the forthcoming hosepipe ban offering to pressure wash peoples' driveways before offering to hack away at their leylandii trees and dump the waste in a layby.
I saw the **** in the hi viz. I wonder if his big toes went all the way to the end of his shoes? They'll probably be back during the forthcoming hosepipe ban offering to pressure wash peoples' driveways before offering to hack away at their leylandii trees and dump the waste in a layby. Muckaway
  • Score: 0

11:41pm Wed 12 Feb 14

H.J.Harris says...

Muckaway wrote:
A warning to the gulliable in Witney.
The Pikeys are trying to cash in on the weather by going around offering to clean out guttering. Just had them knock at my door, but as I already have enough pegs, lucky heather and I am quite capable of laying my own sub standard driveway, I shut the door on them.
you're brave.
[quote][p][bold]Muckaway[/bold] wrote: A warning to the gulliable in Witney. The Pikeys are trying to cash in on the weather by going around offering to clean out guttering. Just had them knock at my door, but as I already have enough pegs, lucky heather and I am quite capable of laying my own sub standard driveway, I shut the door on them.[/p][/quote]you're brave. H.J.Harris
  • Score: 1

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