Net closing in on Hatfield and Potters Bar phone conmen, say police

PUBLISHED: 17:00 19 October 2013

Wanted in connection with phone bank card scam in The Ryde, Hatfield. This photo was taken by a suspicious victim

Wanted in connection with phone bank card scam in The Ryde, Hatfield. This photo was taken by a suspicious victim

Archant

Telephone crooks who try to con people into handing over their credit cards are finding it harder to snare victims.

The Welwyn Hatfield Times reported in August how victims had been conned into handing credit and bank cards to fake couriers after receiving calls from thieves pretending to be police officers.

Following instructions to phone their banks, victims unwittingly called the crooks back – not realising the lines had never been broken.

Since the Welwyn Hatfield Times highlighted the con, nearly 100 similar phone calls have been reported to Hertfordshire Police, but fewer people have fallen for the trick.

On October 3 and 4, four people in Welwyn Hatfield received phone calls from supposed police officers.One in Hatfield, handed over cards to a courier.

A police spokeswoman told the WHT: “Most people in the area here seem to be saying no when they receive these calls, and we think that is because of the publicity.”

A WGC woman who was almost conned into handing over her bank and credit cards to a courier told the WHT: “I am an intelligent woman, but was completely taken in. They are so convincing.”

She received a call from a “DC Duggan”, supposedly based at Holborn Police Station, telling her someone had been caught using a clone of her credit card at a London casino.

Following the supposed detective instructions, she dialled the number given on her card – only to get though to an accomplice of “DC Duggan”. After an elaborate rigmarole of “passwords” and “security checks”, she was told to put her bank and credit cards in an envelope for delivery to a motorcycle courier who would call at her door.

But the woman, who the WHT agreed not to name, became suspicious, and called the Metropolitan Police.

Earlier this month, police arrested a 20-year-old London man on suspicion of committing a similar fraud in Radlett in May.

And last week, police released a photograph of a man suspected of fraudulently using a bank card handed over by a victim in The Ryde, Hatfield, in May.


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