FRAUD ALERT: elderly victims in Harrogate targeted again in fake police fraud

NYP alerted the public to a fake police fraud earlier this month, unfortunately police in Harrogate are investigating after an elderly man and an elderly woman were targeted in two separate fake police frauds in the town. The first victim, a man in his 80s, was phoned on Tuesday 24 April 2018 by a man who claimed to be a ‘PC Mark Lawrence’ from the Fraud Squad in Scotland Yard. He said that the elderly man could call 999 and check his collar number with the Force Control Room which the victim did. However, unbeknown to him, he was still on the phone to the original caller who hadn’t hung up the phone. The victim spoke to a woman who ‘confirmed’ these details and put him through to a fake ‘Detective Sergeant Mark Douglas’ who said that they suspected that the victim’s bank was being targeted by Romanian criminals and that they needed his help to rectify the situation. The fake ‘officer’ kept the victim on the phone for over two hours whilst he went to his bank and, under the guise that he was using it to buy a car, withdrew £3,000 in cash so that the ‘police’ could analyse it to see if there was counterfeit money in the cash bundle. The fake ‘officer’ also remained on the phone whilst a different man, from what could have been a fake courier agency, visited the victim’s home address to collect the money. The courier provided the password ‘SUNFLOWER’, which had been provided to the victim earlier in the phone call, and left with the money. The man become concerned the following day when the ‘officer’ did not call as he said he would. He visited his bank again where it became apparent that he had become a victim of fraud. In a second incident, a woman in her 80s, was also phoned on Tuesday 24 April 2018 by a man who claimed he was Sergeant Wiggen of the Fraud Squad in New Scotland Yard. He stated that there had been suspicious activity on her account and that she needed to go to her local bank and withdraw £17,000. Fortunately, on this occasion, the banking protocol was initiated by the bank who blocked the removal of any money and informed North Yorkshire Police. Investigations are ongoing and the victims are being supported by officers. PC Amanda Hanusch-Moore from North Yorkshire Police’s Harrogate Neighbourhood Policing team said: “These heartless fraudsters are sophisticated and well-rehearsed and whilst they typically prey on the elderly, any one of us could fall victim to their deceptions if we are not vigilant. “It is important to remember that the police or your bank will never ask you to withdraw or transfer money from your bank account, even to aid an investigation. “If you receive a call of this nature or have any suspicious at all, please be reassured that it is okay to hang up the phone and end the conversation. “If you believe you or a family member have been a victim of this type of crime, please call us on 101 or report it to Action Fraud by visiting or by calling 0300 123 2040. In an emergency dial 999.” If you have any information regarding those responsible for such crimes, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. More advice on how to protect yourself and your family from fraudsters can be found by visiting or following the Take Five North Yorkshire hashtag (#TFNY) on Facebook and Twitter.

Fraud alert

**Fraud Alert** North Yorkshire Police would like to make people aware of the following phone scam reported today: A member of the public, from the Northallerton area, has received a call on his mobile from his wife’s mobile number, on answering the call a male with a foreign sounding accent has introduced himself as a Doctor from the Friarage Hospital stating that his wife had been in a car accident and required emergency surgery. However the procedure she required was not covered under NHS budgets and requested bank details to release the required funds of £300. The reportee has replied by stating he would make his way to the hospital immediately and so the caller has hung up. He has then called his wife’s number back, who answered fit and well. The incident has been referred to Action Fraud and NYPs Economic Crime Unit for further investigation, as the perpetrators appear to be using sophisticated methods to link two mobile numbers together, in order to achieve the necessary impact, to fulfil their scam. This incident has been distressing for the parties involved, but luckily no bank details were given out. Please make friends and relatives aware of this incident, especially the more vulnerable. If you do receive such a call, please contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Annual Parish Meeting

The annual parish meeting will be held at 7pm on Tuesday 17th April in the Village Hall.
Representatives of Craven District Council, North Yorkshire County Council and the Police will be invited to attend. If you have any questions you would like to put to them, please send them to by Friday 6th April.
The Annual Parish meeting will be followed by the Parish Council Meeting at 7.30pm.