They have falsely informed the victims that their bank accounts have been compromised and there have been fraudulent transactions on their accounts.
The victims have been told to attend their banks and transfer money to a “secure bank account” to keep it safe.
On one occasion a taxi is believed to have been ordered to pick the victim up and take her to the bank to withdraw her funds.
Fortunately, the police were alerted to the incidents before any money was transferred and are investigating both crimes.
Police officers will never, ever ask members of the public to transfer their money to another account, nor will anyone else from a legitimate organisation.
PC Matthew Scott of Ripon Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: These fraudsters often target elderly or vulnerable people in the community so it is also important that people remain vigilant of them targeting elderly members of their own family or their neighbours.
If anyone does receive calls of a similar nature purporting to be from the police or any other agency asking them to transfer their money to another bank account they should finish the call immediately and contact the police.
Anyone who has been targeted in a similar manner, or has any information about these frauds, is asked to call North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 1 and pass information to the Force Control Room.
Officers have issued the following advice if anyone is contacted:
- Do not transfer money to an unknown bank account either online or in person.
- Do not pass any personal information over the phone or in person to any cold callers.
- Always check with your bank if you are called by anyone claiming to be from a bank fraud investigation team.
- When you make the phone call, ensure that you have a dialing tone before making the call, or use a different phone line to the one the fraudsters have called on.
- Protect your identity and always ensure you destroy or shred any documents containing personal information before disposing of them.
- Don’t use makeshift post boxes at the end of your drive where identity thieves can pick up your post
If you believe you have been a victim of bank fraud please contact your bank in the first instance and report it to your local police on 101.
Visit the Action Fraud website for more information about fraud, how to avoid it and what to do if you are a victim www.actionfraud.police.uk