Police are warning Cheshire residents not to fall victim to phone fraudsters claiming to be from a bank or posing as police officers.
Cheshire Police are aware of several incidents in Lymm, Knutsford and Warrington relating offenders phoning elderly people and telling them their bank cards had been compromised and needed to be cancelled.
They advised the victim to hang up and ring the bank or police back to ensure the call is genuine. The offender stays on the line, sometimes passing the call to another person so the caller thinks they are genuine.
They then tell the victim that a courier will pick up the cards and that there will be a charge for this. The cards are then picked up from the victim′s address and used by the offenders to steal money from their account.
PC James Read said:
Not only do they take money from your account; they charge you a fee for the privilege.
Don′t be afraid to put the phone down on someone if you are unsure about handing over details.
Banks never call and ask for your four-digit card Pin or ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them or transfer money to another account.
Never assume a caller is genuine just because they hold some information about you. Criminals may already have some basic information, such as a name, address and account details to try to make the call appear legitimate.
Always be wary of cold callers who suggest you hang up the phone and call them back.
Remember that it takes two people to terminate a call so try and use a different phone line if you are asked to ring back. If you think you′ve already been a victim of this scam, contact your bank or card company immediately.
Message from Inspector Christian Watkins
I am pleased to report that as we have entered 2014, crime continues to fall in the Crewe area, particularly in respect of burglary and car crime offences.
The busy New Year period passed without serious incident, and it is pleasing to see that more and more drivers are understanding the dangers and repercussions of drink driving, meaning fewer casualties on our roads. Our officers were out in force, targeting those suspected of drink driving to ensure the safety of other drivers and road users was not compromised.
The high visibility policing presence around our retail centres over Christmas and the January sales proved to be a huge success, with shoplifting offences reduced by 40% on previous years' figures. It also presented local people and visitors to Crewe with a ready opportunity to speak to the 'bobby on the beat' who were providing a reassuring presence around the town centre and Grand Junction areas.
Reducing burglary continues to be a key priority for us, and I continue to urge homeowners to protect their property by adopting basic crime prevention measures, and to report any suspicious activity to police so we can act on the information you provide us with.
Inspector Christian Watkins
Prolific Burglar Arrested
A prolific burglar was snared by Crewe detectives following a crime spree that stretched across the east of Cheshire as far as Crewe, Nantwich, Alsager, Macclesfield and Disley . Peter Clarke, 26 and from Oldham, appeared before Magistrates in Crewe charged with 2 counts of burglary and driving offences. He admitted a further 21 offences of burglary whilst being interviewed by detectives. Clarke has been remanded in custody to await trial later this year.
Car crime warning
As the cold winter nights create problems on our road networks, police are reminding car owners to not only drive safely on icy and frosty roads, but to take extra care when defrosting their cars before leaving home on icy mornings. Opportunist thieves will seize the chance to drive away in a car left ‘defrosting’ with the keys in the ignition. Never leave your car unattended in this way, simply allow a few extra minutes each morning to defrost your car and protect your property from thieves.
Thousands of pounds worth of stolen goods returned
Thousands of pounds worth of cycles have since been returned to their rightful owners following a drugs warrant carried out on Maxwell Street in late November. A number of expensive, custom made cycles worth thousands of pounds were recovered in the raid, and following careful examination and investigation by officers, the owners were traced and the bikes returned, some many months after they were initially reported stolen.