Man outsmarts bank card fraudsters as police swoop on Ilford house

A man who was seconds away from handing over his bank cards to fraudsters has described the dramatic moment police swooped on his house to make an arrest as “like something from Z Cars”.

Peter Caton, 64, of Wanstead Lane, Ilford, was about to give his credit cards and bank details after he received a call from his “bank” on Sunday morning.

He said: “I was told that my cards had been used illegally and they were going to cancel them and collect them by courier that afternoon.

“When I questioned who the person on the phone was they said ‘you can confirm what we have said by calling the number on the back of your card’ – which I did.”

Mr Caton was later informed by police that the fraudsters usually stay on the line, even after you have put the phone down, so that when you ring back it goes straight to them.

Mr Caton said: “I then suddenly thought I would call my bank on their stolen cards helpline. They told me there hadn’t been any unauthorised payments – which is when I alerted the police.”

While Mr Caton was on the phone the courier knocked at the door but soon disappeared when there was no answer.

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“The original caller said they would send the courier again. And the police told me to stall them.

“When I heard the knock again I shouted, ‘I’m on the toilet,’ but the police were soon outside and they blocked him in at both sides of the street and he was arrested.”

The man was later released as police had no evidence to charge him and believe he was not working in conjunction with the fraudsters.

Mr Caton added: “It was like something from the show Z Cars (a 1960s TV police drama).

“It was frightening, I needed to calm myself down afterwards.”

Fraud liaison officer, Det Con Richard Hardy, said: “This is happening all over London, especially to older people. Banks would never ask you to send your cards and pin numbers.

“If anyone phones claiming to be from your bank go in to a branch or ring them from a different number and make sure you hear a dialing tone.”