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Police urge people to be aware of scams after three people lose £77k in the South West

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Police urge people to be aware of scams after 3 people lose £77k in the South West

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Devon and Cornwall Police are investigating phone scams in the South West after three victims were conned out of more than £77,000. 

On each occasion, they were called by someone claiming to be from their bank, who said they had been targeted by fraudsters.

A man in Plymouth was called on 26 May and told someone had attempted to remove cash from his account. He was then asked security questions and told his money would be put in a holding account.

In the second incident, a woman in Ilfracombe was called on 1 June by a man who said someone had made large transactions from her account. He asked for her passwords and was aggressive when she became suspicious of him.

She later found large sums of cash had been paid out of her account.

On the same day, a man in Truro was called and told fraudsters were targeting his account. He was told to set up a new account and transfer money into it.

Contact Officer Mark Rothwell said: “These criminals were extremely convincing and persistent, and called from phone numbers that appeared to be genuine numbers used by the victims’ banks’ fraud departments.

“We’d ask people to please be vigilant and not give out any personal information such as your date of birth or bank details to unexpected callers.

“Police or your bank will not unexpectedly call you and ask you to withdraw cash, or move your money to another account, as a result of fraud or any other reason.

“A genuine caller will not mind you checking their credentials, and don’t be afraid to put the phone down if you suspect they are scammers.”

If you believe that you are a victim of this scam, please contact police on 101 using a different phone to that used to communicate with the fraudsters.

You can also email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If a fraud is in progress or someone’s life is in danger, call 999 immediately.

For more advice, visit

Remember to pass this information on to friends and family who do not regularly use the internet and might be more susceptible to these kind of scams, especially the elderly. 

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