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Scamming Incident in High Wycombe Town Centre

Alert message sent 16/10/2019 21:06:00

Information sent on behalf of Neighbourhood Watch

I have been passed this information via a colleague concerning an incident of a resident who was scammed in High Wycombe Town Centre and I thought it was ideal to warn everyone that this sort of scam can happen anywhere.

On Saturday 12 October a local resident was approached in High Wycombe town centre by a man who spoke very good french asking for help. He told the resident that his car had broken down and he was trying to phone a friend but could not understand  how the BT payphone in the High Street worked.
The resident luckily understood enough French in order to understand what the man was asking  and they tried cash in the phone but were unable to connect. 
The fraudster then tried a french bank card but that would not work either. He then asked the resident if he had a card that would work and  if he would make the call for him.

The resident put his own card in the machine, followed by his PIN but that did not work, so the fraudster asked the resident  to try again, it still did not work but his card disappeared , thinking  the machine had taken it, but the fraudster had stolen the card whilst the resident was distracted.

The fraudster then produced a mobile and called what he claimed to be BT. The person on the other end of the phone told the resident to stay by the phone and BT would come and retrieve his card.

The victim then realised that all was not well and despite the fraudster trying to keep the resident to stay by the phone, the victim went to his bank along the High Street to cancel his card, but not before his card had been used to withdraw £500 on his account by another bank on the High Street.

This type of crime highlights how organised and plausible these fraudsters are and how little time it takes to act.

Val McPherson
MSA Thames Valley
Message sent by
Val McPherson BEM (NHWN, Multi Scheme Administrator, Thames Valley)

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