Pensioner card scam

Police investigating a series of bank card scams against elderly people in York and Harrogate have extended their search to the West Midlands.

Officers have discovered fraudsters tried to use a stolen bank card, taken from a 78-year-old Harrogate woman, to buy euros at a travel agents in Solihull.

The attempt failed but it was used at a jeweller’s store and to withdraw cash from a bank in the Coventry area. In total around £6,600 was taken from the elderly victim’s account.

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The fraud is one of a number being investigated by North Yorkshire Police after elderly residents were tricked into handing over their bank cards and personal identification (PIN) numbers to people claiming to be from their bank or a utility company.

Conmen struck in Harrogate and York in late June and early July and stole thousands of pounds using their victims’ bank cards. Police issued an appeal at the time warning people to be on their guard.

Det Sgt Lydia Davenport of Harrogate CID, said yesterday: “These people are very plausible and charming when they contact the elderly people and it is easy to see how they can be convinced by what they are saying.”

The tricksters phone their victim falsely claiming they have an unpaid bill or a fraud has occurred on their account. They offer to send someone to their home to pick up their bank card to enable them to sort out the supposed fraud or to settle the bill.

Officers are keen to trace a woman picked up on CCTV in the West Midlands. Further details can be found at: