Police are urging residents to be on their guard after a series of bogus phone calls were reported to police in Eastbourne last week.
In each case the potential victim received a call from a person purporting to be ‘Max Morris’, who spoke with an American accent, and said he was calling from ‘Coopers Law Firm’.
He then stated that they are involved in a case going to court against or involving them and that they had to call back on a number given. Most of the messages were left on answer phones.
In total 18 such calls were reported to Sussex Police by residents in the town. Thankfully none of those targeted by the caller rang back and although many dialled 1471 the number was withheld.
Police are urging anyone receiving such a call to get in touch with them and let others know about it.
A Sussex Police spokesman said, “We urge anyone hearing about these calls to pass the message on to any friends and relatives who may not be aware of this particular type of targeted fraud, to prevent any vulnerable friends or family members from becoming victims.”
Police said the motive for the calls is not clear, although it is suspected that some type of fraud was intended.
Carol Gilmour, who lives in the Bridgemere area, said she received an answer phone message last Wednesday. She said the message says a case has been filed against the listener and to avoid possible arrest she mustn’t ignore the message but call back.
But instead Mrs Gilmour took to the Internet to find out more and discovered she was not alone in receiving such a voicemail.
She said, “I put the name into Google and it came up with other people who had got such a call.
“It’s frightening for an old person to hear they could get arrested.”
Mrs Gilmour, who has contacted police about the voicemail, added, “I wasn’t worried when I heard it but I think it’s horrible and particularly elderly people could be frightened stupid by it.
“My biggest concern is that somebody might get conned.”
• Anyone receiving such calls should contact Sussex Police by telephone on 101 or alternatively you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org lice.uk