An organised group of thieves, specialising in the theft of purses, wallets and the subsequent fraudulent use of stolen credit cards have been operating in the southwest and elsewhere in the UK in recent months.

The offenders dress smartly and often wear an NHS/Council style lanyard. They are also known to wear disguises such as wigs and glasses. They will wait around the waiting area or the access-controlled entrance to reception until they are able to tailgate a staff member through the door. Once inside they target unoccupied rooms seeking unattended handbag or jackets. They then steal the bank card and ID documents such as a driving licence. If confronted they will often give a cover story such as being a visitor from another organisation or checking fire extinguishers.

After a short while the victim will receive a telephone call from a well-spoken male or female who will explain that they are from the fraud department of the victim’s bank.

They will often know the victim’s personal details from their driving licence or receipts from the purse or wallet, they will use this information to appear genuine.

After a very convincing conversation regarding a fraudster using the card, they will ask the victim for their PIN.

Once in possession of the PIN a group member will use an ATM to check the balance of the account and will also remove cash.

Source: Serious Organised Crime Stream FIB

What do you need to do?
  • Ensure staff wear ID and challenge strangers entering Staff areas
  • Lock away personal property
  • Should you become a victim of this type of offence DO NOT GIVE OUT YOUR PIN take the name/number of the caller and ring your bank and the Police.

Importance: High

To discuss this issue or request any further assistance and support please contact: Jonathan Gladwin, Director of Anti-Crime Services; or your nominated Anti-Crime Specialist.