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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

Beware of Moneygram scammers

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12:17pm 23rd August 2011

Police are warning residents to be vigilant after an elderly Thirsk man was targeted by fraudsters.

Officers are advising people not to use Moneygram to send cash to anyone they don’t know, after a man in his 70s was asked to transfer two payments to India.

The victim was contacted by telephone on Wednesday 17th August 2011.

A woman claiming to be from the County Court in London advised him that he was in line to receive a cheque for £4800 due to mis-sold payment protection on an old bank loan.

He was instructed to send two payments to Delhi, one for £199 and another for £580, via Moneygram transfer.

When the victim did not receive a cheque he became suspicious and reported the incident to the police.

Once money has been sent to another country it is very difficult to trace and officers are advising residents to be extremely vigilant when transferring funds.

PC Peter Henderson, of Thirsk Safer Neighbourhood Team, said:

“Unfortunately fraudsters target elderly people in this manner and I am keen to avoid other people falling victim to scams like this.

“Moneygram is a legitimate way to transfer money, however I would advise people not to use it to send cash to anyone unknown to them.

“The Moneygram forms carry a warning on them not to use the transfer service to claim lottery wins or other promises of money, but unfortunately some people are so taken in by the fraudsters that they ignore the advice.

“I am urging everyone to be vigilant and to take the time to talk to elderly relatives and neighbours to ensure they are aware of the dangers of sending money to people they don’t know.”

Anyone who is contacted in similar circumstances or thinks they have been victim to fraud can contact North Yorkshire Police on 0845 60 60 24 7.

Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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