A person posted the following on Facebook page here in the Algarve. This is useful information and advice provided by Action Fraud UK is at the foot of the page

“Many of you may be aware that there is a terrible scam operation going on in the UK. Sadly an elderly member of my own family has been directly affected by this and has been scammed for thousands of pounds.

My mother was called by a person claiming to be the fraud squad at Hammersmith police station. They then told her that they had a person in custody that had taken money fraudulently out of her bank account. The information so far has been sketchy but their MO is the same in most cases.

They tell their victim that they need to call the bank immediately and confirm what has happened, when the victim puts the phone down and calls the bank the scammers are in fact still on the line so as the victim calls what they think is the bank BUT they are in fact speaking to the criminals. They then take all of the victims personal details.

In this case they asked my 83 year old mother to go to the bank and transfer money into a safe account, so my mother went to the bank and attempted to transfer money from her savings account to her current account, an account that the scammers had by then the information for. At this point the bank became suspicious and she was taken into a room and the real police were called. She was then taken into protective custody, so had to leave her home and be cared for by 2 GENUINE police officers, as it transpired that these criminals had already been to her home and relieved her of thousands of pounds.

She was previously told on the phone by the criminals that 2 plainclothes officers were going to call and they gave her a password, she was to ask them for this password on arrival, which she did, so she was convinced they were genuine police officers.

This is an ongoing case and full details are yet to emerge, but please warn relatives in the UK of this. If they are called by someone claiming to be the police, they must put the phone down, the REAL POLICE DO NOT ASK FOR BANK DETAILS ON THE PHONE. Then DO NOT USE THE PHONE AGAIN FOR AT LEAST 10 MINUTES to clear the line, or go to a neighbour or a friend to ask for help. Please share this message and help to stop these evil, horrible people from preying on the elderly and the vulnerable”


Safe Communities Algarve has contacted Action Fraud in the UK and they have confirmed this is a common fraud currently operating there. The suspect will try and persuade the victim to ring their bank and stay on the line and then pretend to be the bank. They will then ask for information and capture the information. This is when the fraud takes place and money removed from the account.

If you are approached like this over the phone, then if you wish to check your bank you should do so using another phone.