Police issue urgent warning after hundreds of thousands of pounds lost to gold scam – North Yorkshire Police
North Yorkshire Police officers have been concerned to see two incidents of gold bullion scams in the past month alone, which have caused victims to lose a combined total of almost £ 500,000.
The crooks contact the victim claiming to be in the police force and state that they are monitoring fraudulent activity on their accounts which are at risk. The victim is told that the police are carrying out a major fraud investigation into the bank’s activities and that they need the victim’s help to catch the fraudsters. The scammer urges the victim to withdraw the money from his bank account as soon as possible, claiming he is in danger if he leaves it there.
The victims of these two incidents were then ordered to purchase large quantities of gold bars in order to support the police investigation. The ingots are then collected by a “courier” that the scammer sends to the victim’s home, reassuring the victim that they will keep the gold in a safe and secure place until the end of the investigation.
North Yorkshire Police Economic Crime Unit Chief Detective Jon Hodgeon said:
“Although we have encountered this type of what is called ‘courier fraud’ in the past, it is very unusual to see two incidents in such a short period of time and with substantial loss of money.
“Courier fraud is unfortunately very common, but this extra step of persuading victims to buy large quantities of gold bullion is of great concern.
“Scammers invest a lot of time and effort in doing everything possible to present themselves as legitimate, calling from different phone numbers and posing as other members of the police force to add credibility to their elaborate history.
“You might read this and think you’ll never be the victim of a scam of this nature, but you can’t underestimate how manipulative and extremely smart these crooks can be.
“Remember that the police or your bank will NEVER contact you to ask you to move or transfer money. We will never ask you to lie to your bank or your family and we will certainly never ask you to buy gold bullion.
“If you get a call like this hang up immediately. If you are ever worried about the calls you receive, talk to a family member, friend, bank, or call the police.
If you believe you have been the victim of fraud, please call North Yorkshire Police on 101.