Scammers targeting elderly in Harrogate

Police appeal.
Police appeal.

Bogus bankers are targeting elderly people across Harrogate in a scam to get them to part with their pin numbers and bank cards.

Police are now warning people in Harrogate to be wary after they received four reports of attempted frauds over just two days last week.

In two cases the fraudsters actually visited their victims, stealing large amounts of cash after tricking them into passing on their bank details.

“Elderly people have been duped by these despicable people who appear very plausible and genuine,” said Det Sgt Hannah Wright, of Harrogate CID.

“They are smartly dressed and try to confuse people into parting with information.

“If you have elderly relatives or friends, please urge them not to hand over their bank details of cards and reassure them that it’s not impolite to refuse to answer your door or hand over information.”

Police say officers in Harrogate received four reports of conmen phoning elderly residents to say there is a problem with their standing orders or that a fraud has taken place on their account.

A short time later, someone else calls them claiming to be from their bank and that they are calling to sort the problem out.

They then try to trick the elderly person into parting with their bank details, including their pin number.

“We want to warn people not to answer their door to anyone who they do not know,” said Det Sgt Wright.

“If anyone calls at your door or promises to call at your home to collect your cards, do not answer the door and call the police on 999 immediately. If you believe you have been targeted in a similar way over the past few days, please call the police on 101.

“We can’t stress how important it is not to give your bank details to anyone. And to never hand your bank or credit card to anyone unless you are inside the premises of your own bank.

“A bank would never call to pick up bank cards in person or ask for your pin number.”

Police are investigating and are asking anybody who has seen anything suspicious in Killinghall, Burn Bridge, Crescent Road or the Royal Parade area of Harrogate, to get in touch.

“These people must be stopped,” said Det Sgt Wright. “If anyone else has been the targeted by them, I urge you to contact the police without delay.

“Even if they did not succeed, please tell us as we need to gather as much information about them as possible.”