Bank card scam targets Garstang

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CARE workers attending a meeting at a nursing home had their purses stolen and were then conned into revealing their private bank details after an elaborate scam targeted Garstang for a second time.

A thief walked into the Catterall House residential home and stole two purses from a meeting room.

The victims were unaware their property had been taken until they received calls from someone claiming to be from their bank, informing them their cards had been stolen and attempts were being made to access their accounts.

The fraudster said in order to stop the accounts being used, their PIN numbers would be needed to block them.

A card was later used in the Blackburn area.

Garstang police said the incident was “worrying” with opportunistic thieves using “shock tactics” to scam vulnerable victims into divulging their private details.

They are now appealing to members of the public to keep their property secure at all times when attending work meetings or functions after a similar incident was reported after a conference held recently at Garstang Country Hotel and Golf Club.

PC Dave Shaw from Garstang neighbourhood policing team said: “If workers or managers from a bank do ring, they would never ask for PIN numbers so people should never give it away.

“These opportunistic thieves leave victims shocked, catching people on the back foot – they do not realise they have had their property stolen and so are unwittingly handing information over.

“Bags will often be left in a room over lunch at conferences but people should take care to lock away property or keep it with them at all times,” he added.

The bags were left unattended within a private room at the premises when they were stolen around 1pm on August 26.

No one witnessed anyone entering the room but a staff member later said they had seen a suspicious male around the area.

He has been described as having a shaven head. He was wearing a pale shirt and grey shiny trousers.

Anyone with information should contact police on 01995 607869 or 0845 1 25 35 45.