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Large increase in online scams in Dorset

Police are asking residents to report scams Credit: ITV

There's been a large increase in phone and online scams in Dorset according to police - and they're asking local residents to keep reporting incidents. Currently criminals are either pretending to be from HMRC or Talk Talk. Dorset Police wants to build intelligence so they can catch the culprits.


Pensioner, 92, is latest scam victim

Police in Hampshire are investigating after a 92-year-old man was conned.

The incident took place in the Sainsbury’s car park in Farlington, Portsmouth, between 11.30am and midday on Tuesday, 16 February.

The victim was sitting in his car when he was approached by a younger man who said he needed cash to buy diesel. The victim was persuaded to leave his vehicle and sit in the younger man’s car.

The younger man then took money from the victim’s wallet, before driving him to the cash machine at the supermarket where the pensioner withdrew more money.

In total, the younger man took £70 from the victim before handing him six boxes containing watches, which he claimed would be worth more than the money the victim had handed over.

The younger man is described as white, around 5ft 8ins tall, with a round face and short hair. He spoke with a Spanish accent and was smartly dressed and clean shaven.

Sex offenders pose as agents to exploit young girls online

There's a warning that sex offenders are posing as modelling agents to convince young girls online that they could have a career in front of the camera.

Police say they've received various reports this year of girls being contacted and asked for explicit pictures or videos. Officers are now working with the National Crime Agency to track down those behind the scam, as Michael Billington has been finding out.

'Suspicious' man stops motorist and offers gold for cash

Female driver flagged down by man Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Archive/PA Images

A woman has told police that a man flagged her down while she was driving and offered her gold in return for cash, claiming his credit card was not working.

The incident happened around 1pm on Monday, November 16, on the slip road connecting Tot Hill Services, near Highclere, with the southbound A34.

Hampshire Police say they have investigated previous scams where highly polished copper was made to look like gold and offered in return for cash so are appealing for help.

The man is of Middle Eastern origin, aged in his 30s and spoke German and English. He was 5ft 4ins, of a chubby build and wore a red chequered shirt and a brown jacket. His car was described as dark blue and there were three other men inside.

Anyone with information or who have been a victim of a similar scam should contact Hampshire Constabulary on 101 quoting 44150398276.


Cold callers operating in Sussex

People in two areas of East Sussex are being urged to be on their guard for cold calling ‘cowboys’.

East Sussex Trading Standards issued the warning after receiving several complaints of rogue doorstep sellers operating in the Bexhill and Lewes areas.

Officers are particularly keen to intercept a cold calling company offering block paving to residents.

Scams: 'Everyone is now a potential victim'

They target the most vulnerable and trusting people in our communities, using the goodwill of the elderly to con them out of their hard-earned savings. Tonight the police are warning about the dramatic increase in scams.

There has been almost a thousand cases of so-called 'Courier Fraud' in Sussex alone in the past five months. That's where people are tricked into handing over credit or debit cards, cash and PIN numbers to someone posing as a police officer or bank official.

The police say the sheer variety of these scams are now so elaborate - everyone is a potential victim.

Andy Dickenson reports and we hear from 87-year-old scam victim Dennis, PC Bernadette Lawrie, and fraud victim Helen Brown.

Conman steals £28,000 from pensioner

Surrey Police detectives have released an e-fit of a man they would like to speak to in connection with a brazen scam which left a Gomshall man almost £28,000 out of pocket.

The victim, who is in his 70s, was contacted by a man claiming to be from the Metropolitan Police. The suspect said he was involved in distributing counterfeit money and needed the victim's help with an operation. The victim was asked to withdraw £5,000 which he handed over after meeting the suspects at a specified location in London. The victim was then asked to purchase two Rolex watches to the value of £17,900 and £4,000 worth of chips from a casino, which he also handed over. He was also asked to make a number of cash withdrawals.

E-fit of conman released Credit: Surrey Police

The victim contacted police the following day after realising he had been duped.

Officers are also investigating after an elderly couple from Farnham almost fell victim to a bank card con on the same day.

The couple were contacted by a man claiming to be a detective inspector from Aldershot who said he had rung to let them know there had been some fraudulent activity on their bank account. The caller told them to withdraw £8,600 and that he had ordered a taxi to take them to the bank. The couple were then instructed to take the cash back home with them to keep it safe.

Police were alerted to the scam after staff at the Farnham branch of Nat West became suspicious when the couple tried to withdraw the money, foiling the fraudster's attempt.

The suspect was never seen but is believed to have maintained telephone contact with the couple throughout the incident. Despite a swift response from police, the suspect was not located and the investigation into the incident remains ongoing.

We are following up a number of lines of enquiry in relation to these offences and both investigations remain ongoing. At this stage, we cannot say whether the two incidents are linked, only that they both took place on the same day. We are urging people to be vigilant, to be aware of these scams and to protect themselves by following the precautions below.

– Detective Constable Mike Taylor
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