Thieves target GPs in elaborate bank card fraud

Practices have been urged to be on alert after thieves used an elaborate scam to steal thousands of pounds from GPs' bank accounts.

Police: warning practices are being targeted by thieves
Police: warning practices are being targeted by thieves

Cambridgeshire LMC wrote to practices warning that thieves stole GPs’ wallets or purses from consulting rooms, before posing as bank representatives to obtain personal details.

One GP in the area lost £6,500 after the thieves used bank cards stolen from her to withdraw cash and purchase items.

Cambridgeshire LMC wrote to practices after two similar thefts were reported in a week.

At least one further theft has occurred, but the LMC’s warning helped the victim avoid major cash losses.

Linton Health Centre GP Dr Susie Beattie says she first realised her purse was missing when she received a call from a man claiming to be from her bank’s investigation unit.

He said a woman had been caught using Dr Beattie’s bank cards fraudulently, and asked her to confirm that she had the cards.

When she confirmed they were missing, the caller asked Dr Beattie to call an 0845 number, which he said was the bank’s fraudline - to cancel the cards.

The phone line was a fake, but conned Dr Beattie into handing over a series of personal details. In a subsequent call offering to return her purse she was tricked into revealing her PIN number.

Four days later she discovered her cards had not been cancelled and that the thieves had spent £6,500.

Police advised Dr Beattie that practices are being targeted by this type of fraud and ID theft, and urged practices to keep purses and wallets locked up.

Dr Beattie said she felt compelled to warn colleagues, adding: ‘It was such a convincing piece of theatre, I was totally duped, and £6,500 worse off.’

Dr Beattie added that she had been advised to add an extra security password at the GMC to stop the gang obtaining a fraudulent GMC certificate in her name.

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