Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Alert on Call Scam

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Alert on Call Scam

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Underwood

Fraud busters have warned homeowners to beware of identity thieves running a phone scam on Teesside.

Cleveland Police fraud squad say that crooks are duping residents into divulging bank details over the phone, and plundering accounts to buy goods.

They are then setting up "mail drops" at derelict buildings or short term rental properties outside Cleveland to collect items ordered over the internet. There have been four incidents in the last month, with thousands of pounds snatched from bank accounts.

Detective Sergeant Dawn Naughton, pictured, of Cleveland Police's fraud squad, said: "In some instances a caller will ring up stating the householder hasn't paid their utility bill and asks for bank details over the phone to pay the outstanding amount. In other cases, someone has knocked on the door with a similar story.

"Once they have the details, large sums of cash have been withdrawn from the bank holder's account - often using a 'card not present' system, either over the telephone or internet to make their purchases. …

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