People aged 90 to 89 seeing £20,000 wiped from bank account after mistake

People aged 80 to 89 are having £20,000 wiped from their bank account after a sinister scam which targets the elderly. City of London Police said on Tuesday that people in their 80s were the most likely to be targeted and accounted for 43 per cent of all victims, according to data from Action Fraud.

According to official data, a total of £28.7million was lost to courier fraud between April 2023 and March 2024. The scam sees heartless scammers pose as police officers or bank officials and trick people into handing over money, valuables or bank cards to a courier.

City of London Police said the average loss to these scams was around £20,032 on average. Detective Sergeant Victoria O’Keefe, from City of London Police, said: “This is a particularly nasty crime type often resulting in significant psychological harm and financial loss to victims, many of whom are living alone and suffering age-related illness.

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“Led by the City of London Police, this operation was a joint effort by forces across England and Wales to intensify activity and jointly crack down on fraudsters who prey upon elderly people by cold calling landlines and posing as police officers and bank officials. Over a two-week period, we worked with colleagues in the Metropolitan Police and teams across England and Wales to proactively arrest offenders and safeguard vulnerable victims.

“Many elderly people rely on their landline phone to stay connected to the outside world and, for peace of mind, we would recommend protecting loved ones from fraudulent calls by getting a call-blocking device fitted. If you hear that your friend or loved one is being contacted out of the blue by the police or the bank and asked to withdraw money, hand over bank cards or make purchases, report it to the police immediately."