Police are warning members of the public not to give their bank card personal identification number (PIN) to anyone after bogus bank officials have stolen thousands of pounds by tricking customers into handing over their PIN.
The suspects have stolen their victims’ purses by sneaking into staff rooms, typically in health centres or care homes. They then ring the victim up at their place of work, pretending to be from their bank, claiming that they have been a victim of theft.
They go on to inform the victim that they believe someone is attempting to use their bank card and that in order to cancel the card, they require a number of security details.
They start with general questions, but amongst them is a request for the victim’s PIN.
The suspects are very convincing when they call and typing can be heard in the background, giving the impression of a call centre.
Once they have obtained the PIN, an accomplice then uses it to steal money from the victim’s bank account, either using cash machines or by calling into various branches to withdraw the money.
The fraudsters have struck in North Yorkshire and in neighbouring counties, the latest one being in Northallerton when thieves stole the victim’s purse from the staff room of the doctor’s surgery where she worked. They then went on to withdraw thousands of pounds from banks in Darlington, Harrogate and Leeds.
Officers are warning members of the public not to give their PIN to anyone under any circumstances and to ensure their belongings are kept secure when they are at work.
Detective Constable Matthew Mitchell of Northallerton CID, said: We can’t stress how important it is not to give your PIN to anyone under any circumstances – not even your bank or the police. They would not ask for it and anyone who does will not be genuine.
As we continue to investigate these thefts and subsequent frauds, we urge members of the public to ensure their belongings are secure while they are at work. Particularly if you work in buildings which are accessible to the general public.
If you have been targeted in a similar way, please contact your local police on 101 to report the crime.
If you have any other information which could assist this investigation, please call North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for the investigating officer, Detective Constable Matthew Mitchell. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.