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Police warn Croydon residents and businesses about 'FBI' hoax

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SCAMMERS claiming to be from America's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been targeting residents and business owners by warning them there is a warrant out for their arrest.

The Selsdon and Ballards neighbourhood policing team say they have received a number of reports in recent weeks from people in the area who have had messages left on their answerphones.

In the automated messages, a person claiming to be from the FBI says a warrant has been issued for the victim's arrest.

They then explain the victim needs to contact a fictional legal firm, who will drop the arrest, but only if a fee or fine is paid, before giving instructions on how to make a credit or debit card payment.

The Metropolitan Police have urged anyone who receives the message to ignore it and not give any personal information to the fake legal firm.

Councillor Sara Bashford said: "I think it's one of those things where we do have a high elderly population in the area and often, they are the targets of these sorts of scams."

"The fact that people are saying it's the FBI is slightly worrying, but it's not that believable. You'd expect them to say they're from the CID."

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the Selsdon and Ballards team were not aware anyone in the area had yet fallen victim to the scam.

"People should check with elderly or vulnerable friends and family to make sure they're aware the messages are a scam," he added.

A spokesman for Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre, said the scam was known to investigators.

An advice section on Action Fraud's website explained the scam normally gives a deadline for victims to respond to the fictional law firms, which are often named Walsh & Peters, Schwartz & Peters or Lodge & Peters.

The spokesman added: "If you or anyone you know has parted with any money and has become victim to this, then it can be reported to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or www.actionfraud.police.uk.

Or if you have not parted with any money, you can simply ignore the scam phone call and report it to Action Fraud."

Police warn Croydon residents and businesses about 'FBI' hoax


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