A WARNING has been issued following a spate of fraud reports in Ascot.

Thames Valley Police has issued crime prevention advice following a number of incidents over the last few weeks in which money was taken unlawfully from the bank accounts of elderly and vulnerable victims.

The offenders contacted the victim by telephone claiming to be calling from the victim’s bank. They stated that the victim’s bank card needed to be replaced and arranged for a courier to collect the genuine bank card which was replaced with a fraudulent card. The genuine card was then used by the offenders to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.

Investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Pauline Cameron, from Maidenhead police station, said: “I would encourage anyone with elderly or vulnerable family and friends to make them aware of this type of fraud.

“Protecting your personal details is vital. Your bank, and the police, will never ask you to verify your PIN number, withdraw cash, or arrange for a courier to collect your bank card. If you receive a call like this, you should hang up the phone.

“Banks and building societies will never ask you to authorise anything by entering your PIN number into the telephone. If you are asked to do this, you should end the call.

“If you receive a call from your bank, you should verify the person speaking before handing over any personal details. You can do this by calling your bank using the telephone number detailed on the back of your bank card. To verify a call from the police, you should contact 101.

“When making this call it is important to use a different phone to the one that you have been contacted on. If no other phone is available, you should wait at least five minutes to ensure the phone line has cleared before making the phone call.”

More advice about how to protect against fraud and identity theft is available on the Thames Valley Police website: https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/advice/protecting-yourself-and-others/fraud-and-identity-theft/