Police have issued a warning throughout the area, including Northumberland, after a pensioner was duped out of money as part of a telephone scam.
The 69-year-old woman received a hoax call to her home address in Gateshead on Thursday, January 8.
The caller claimed to be from the bank fraud team and asked her to transfer an amount of cash from her account to safeguard it. A police investigation revealed that the woman’s account had been targeted by the criminals.
Northumbria Police is continuing to investigate a number of similar reports from December last year. Officers are urging residents to continue be on their guard against such hoax calls.
Superintendent Richie Jackson said: “It’s important for residents to know that a police officer or bank would never ask a member of the public to withdraw money or give any of their personal details over the phone in this way. Please do not be fooled by these callers, even if they sound professional, and don’t be frightened to make contact with either the police or the bank to confirm their identity.
“Often callers will give telephone numbers they control to call back on to verify details which fools victims that the call is genuine. We urge all residents to remain vigilant and report any calls they receive of this nature to the police straight away. Any genuine callers will not mind waiting or being asked to call back while their identification is checked. It is important to only use widely publicised contact numbers for the police or banks.
“If anyone has any elderly or vulnerable relatives or friends we would ask them to remind them to be vigilant and be on their guard to such bogus callers.”
Further information about bogus callers is available on the Northumbria Police website.
If anyone has information about the identity of the men they should contact Northumbria Police on 101 or Crimestopppers anonymously on 0800 555111.