Elderly and vulnerable people in Dorset have been conned out of more than £1 million in two years by 'phone fraud gangs.
Police in Dorset are urging the public to be aware of a large number of telephone scams - residents in the county have lost over £1 million.
The force is calling on residents to heighten their vigilance to potential fraud threats.
The message ‘Hang Up On Fraudsters’ is being spread throughout Dorset and the South West in response to a spate of offences since November 2014. A range of resources, including posters and fliers, have been utilised in Dorset to warn the public. Local businesses, including post offices, hospitals and GP surgeries have also been displaying the advice. Social media platforms have been positively targeted with the hash tag #HangUpOnFraudsters and local radio stations have helped to spread awareness.
Neighbourhood Policing Teams in Weymouth, Poole and Purbeck have attended supermarkets and community events to offer crime prevention advice to the public.
The campaign has had positive results, with many members of the public coming forward with information and refusing to hand over money. However, officers are still concerned as the offences continue in certain areas.
Residents in Poole, Dorchester and Weymouth have been targeted by the offenders, who call the victims and tell them that their bank accounts have been compromised in some way. The callers have a variety of sophisticated methods, including pretending to be police officers or banking advisors, to convince victims that they are legitimate. On many occasions they have persuaded them to transfer or hand over large sums of cash.
A Wiltshire Police Superintendent from Swindon appeared at Bournemouth Magistrates Court today charged with a number of counts of fraud, forgery and false accounting.
The charges relate to a treasurer role Andrew Carr undertook for a School Governing Body and Scout organisation.
The 47-year-old is currently suspended from the Force.
This matter was voluntarily referred to the IPCC in October 2015. An independent investigation was undertaken by Dorset Police.
Andrew Carr is next due to appear at Bournemouth Crown Court on 26 May 2016 charged with 11 counts of fraud, forgery and false accounting.
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