Police are investigating an attempted fraud after officers were called to a bank in Hailsham on 2 December. 

The banking staff had become suspicious after the victim attempted to withdraw £6,500 for reasons that were unclear. 

The transation was flagged up by Banking Protocol, which is used to help identify and protect vulnerable victims of fraud, and the victim disclosed he was asked to withdraw the money following a series of unusual phone calls.

The victim – a 80-year-old man from Polegate – had been called by fraudsters pretending to be police officers who asked him to disclose personal financial information and withdraw the large sum of cash following some unusual activity on his account. 

Fortunately the transaction was prevented from happening and the victim did not lose any money. 

Police are now appealing for members of the public to be wary of unsolicited phone calls from people asking for personal or financial information. 

Detective Constable Daniel Payton said: “We’re asking people to be wary of unexpected phone calls asking for sensitive information.

“Always remember: banks and police will never ask you to withdraw money and will never ask you for information such as your PIN number.

“Criminals such as these deliberately target the elderly or vulnerable and exploit their trust. If something doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t. We’re urging people to let their friends and family know about these scams so we can prevent further incidents from taking place.”

Key things to remember

  • Never send or give money to anyone you don’t know or trust.
  • Check people are who they say they are.
  • Don’t share your personal information.
  • Make decisions in your own time.
  • If in doubt phone a relative or a friend.
  • Trust no-one who cold calls you about your bank account or a problem with your computer.

Under no circumstances would the bank or police:

  • request a card PIN or security details over the telephone, or
  • arrange collection of bank cards from a home address

For information on Operation Signature, the work done by Sussex Police to prevent fraud and support vulnerable victims, see the force website here