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Police issue warning after Alton resident falls victim to phone scam

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ELDERLY and vulnerable people in Uttoxeter are being warned about falling victim to phone scams after an Alton resident has become the latest target.

A resident of Alton who does not wish to be named, had a phone call from a male who claimed to be from 'technical support', and needed him to go to a website called 'Team Viewer' so he could check if there were any viruses on his laptop.

The resident logged onto the website and some symbols came up on his laptop.

The caller then said he could view the files on the laptop and asked for £199, which the resident refused to pay.

He later discovered that he was unable to log onto his laptop and it had to be taken into a computer shop for repair.

Ken Rickard, Neighbourhood Watch Manager, said: "Please be aware of this recent scam and be reminded of these fraudulent callers. Simply end the call."

The warnings come in conjunction with Courier Fraud Awareness Day.

So far this year there have been 21 incidents of this nature reported across Staffordshire.

One type of phone fraud reported is courier fraud, a sophisticated fraud where scammers telephone the victim purporting to be someone from their bank, the police or other law enforcement agency.

They then dupe the person into revealing their PIN and handing over their credit or debit card to a courier or taxi driver, who may not know they are being used as part of the scam.

The victim may be asked to ring the number on the back of their card, thereby further convincing the victim that the call is genuine, however the scammer keeps the line open so that the victim unknowingly talks to another member of the gang, posing as a bank employee.

Police are warning people to be on their guard as criminals work ever harder to defraud their victims and the crime continues to evolve.

DCI Rich Finlow of Staffordshire Police said: "Since the beginning of the year we have seen an increase in reports of this type of fraud and the rouses used by scammers differs.

"They are always looking for new ways of defrauding the elderly and vulnerable, and the crime continues to evolve.

"While we are working with colleagues from other forces to tackle this crime it is also vital that people stay vigilant.

"We want people to question even truly genuine sounding calls and, most importantly, remember police and banks will never ask for your PIN or bank card, so you should never give these away.

"If you believe you have had one of these calls or know someone who has, get in contact with your bank straight away and then report it to police on 101."

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