Police praise Eastbourne shop staff for busting a scam


Police have praised two Eastbourne businesses who spotted unusual transactions in time to save potential victims from handing over cash to fraudsters.

Between November 27 and 30, 12 residents in Eastbourne reported phone calls from people who pretended to be police officers, and claimed that their bank accounts had been used for fraud.

The callers said that the residents should supply their PIN numbers, and either transfer funds to another account they gave details of, for safety, or should withdraw cash to be picked up by a courier.

However, in all but one case the ruse was swiftly rumbled and nothing was handed over.

On November 27 a 47-year old man was called and given instructions to go to his Building Society, Nationwide, in the town, to transfer £9,345. Thankfully, staff there became suspicious, put a hold on the transfer after he had left and eventually managed to convince him not to go through with it.

Unfortunately the fraudsters had meanwhile phoned him again and got him to hand over £1,000 cash to a caller at his door.

In another case, on November 30 an 82-year old local man was called and told to obtain 5,000 Euros cash, which he did from the Bureau de Change at Marks and Spencer.

However before anything else happened, alert Bureau staff sensed that something was not right, and convinced him to go no further.

Chief Inspector Emma Brice said, “People who receive calls like this are doing exactly the right thing by not getting involved, and telling the police.

“And it is good that local businesses are also on the look out.

“Under no circumstances would the police or your bank act in this way.

“If you have any suspicions, please do not use the phone you have just been called on to contact the police or your bank. If possible use another phone to report your concerns or to contact a friend or relative to alert them.

“Thankfully, many of these attempts fail as alert residents are not fooled.

“However we urge anyone reading or hearing this message to pass it on to any friends and relatives who may be unaware of this particular type of targeted fraud.

“We want to encourage everyone to continue to resist these callers, who despicably often target elderly and vulnerable people who may easily become confused.”

For more information, visit www.sussex.police.uk/help-centre/ask-us/fraud,-scams-and-financial-issues/what-is-courier-scams or call into your local police station to pick up the Little Book of Big Scams, which you can also read online at


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