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Dyfed Powys Police

Warning as scammers con victims out of £100,000

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Fraudsters, including some posing as police officers, have conned residents in the Dyfed-Powys Police area out of £100,000 in the past seven weeks.

Officers are investigating a series of fraud offences in the force’s four counties, with six people losing a total of £98,315.

DC Gareth Jordan from Dyfed-Powys Police’s Economic Crime Team, said: “Most of these have related to an individual claiming to be from the police and saying they have someone in custody that has attempted to use the victim’s card but have been caught.

“The scam, known as courier fraud, is being used to trick people into handing over large amounts of money, with scammers pretending to work for the police, and arranging for the money to be picked up by courier.

“They say the victim’s bank account is at risk or subject to suspicious activity and in order to protect their cash, or stop those responsible, who they claim are bank employees, they need to withdraw the cash and hand over to police or transfer the funds to a safe account.

“The scammers tell the victims to call 999 but the scammers keep the line open so the victims end up speaking to the same individuals or they say that they will put the victim through to the local police station but again the victims are still speaking to the suspects.”

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Since 13 October 2020 there have been a total of 26 courier fraud offences reported to Dyfed-Powys Police, four of which have been successful with victims losing £20,115.

DC Jordan said that unfortunately victims often don’t get their money back as they have ‘chosen’ to take the money out and been deemed to be ‘complicit’ in the fraud.

It’s not just the police they impersonate:

One person was tricked into transferring £50,000 by someone pretending to be from Amazon, while another lost £28,200 to a bank scam with the conmen even ringing from what appeared to be the number used by the victim’s bank.

A further two victims were only prevented from losing money by banks – one transaction for £6,500 was stopped by banking protocols, while one attempted to withdraw £8,200 but the bank did not have enough cash at the branch. This was a lucky escape, otherwise the money would have gone.

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DC Jordan said the fraudsters make their scams believable and that it can be easy to fall victim.

“We have also had instances where HRMC scams are trying to be initiated by ‘spoofing’ the calling number to make the victim think the call is genuine,” he said.

“In one of the offences, the phone number appeared on the victim’s caller ID as Dyfed Powys Police switchboard number 01267 222020 and spoke with a female with a strong Welsh accent, so they thought it was genuine.

“If anyone asks you to hand over money or to transfer money, even if it appears to be real, it isn’t.

“Banks would not ask you to move money in this way and the police would never ask you to transfer money or send someone to pick money up from you.”

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If you receive a call like this – put the phone down and wait for a few minutes. Then contact the police on 101 or you can report online here. 

For advice on how to protect yourself from fraud, visit: https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/general-advice/


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Ammanford

Man who filmed rape on Ammanford victim’s phone changes plea mid trial

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A man who filmed himself raping an Ammanford woman on his victim’s phone has changed his plea to guilty midway through his trial.

Cameron Hassan, aged 31, of no fixed abode, attacked the woman, raping her as she slept on 21 August 2021.

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Hassan had been on trial at Swansea Crown Court after denying any wrongdoing. However, after the jury was shown the video of the attack and hearing the victim was going to give evidence yesterday (Tuesday, 10 May), Hassan changed his plea to guilty.

Investigating Officer DC Sophie Lambert from Dyfed Powys Police said the victim had shown great strength and determination throughout the investigation.

“I must commend her tremendous courage in coming forward and the tenacity shown throughout the investigation,” she said.

“We hope this case demonstrates that Dyfed-Powys Police acts on serious allegations such as rape and sexual assault with officers working tirelessly to secure justice for victims.

“If you are suffering because of similar abuse, please contact the police, or if you would rather speak to someone in confidence, New Pathways are an independent charity that will support you through every step of the investigation.”

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New Pathways can be contacted at 01685 379 310 or email enquiries@newpathways.org.uk

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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Dyfed Powys Police

Man banned from driving for 12 months for fishing offence

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A man from Merthyr Tydfil who travelled to the River Loughor, near Llanelli to fish using a barbaric and illegal method, has been banned from driving for 12 months as part of his sentence.

Vu Quang Tien pleaded guilty to an illegal fishing charge and also to a charge of obstruction of a Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Fisheries Enforcement Officer on 26 April at Swansea Magistrates Court.

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Mr Tien and two other anglers were witnessed by NRW Fisheries Enforcement Officers deliberately using the illegal foul hooking method of fishing – also known as snatching – at the river Loughor on 15 August 2021. NRW officers attended the site after several reports of illegal fishing were made to NRW’s 24/7 incident call centre by concerned members of the community.

When approached and questioned by NRW officers, Mr Tien and his accomplices showed significant hostility and reluctance to share identification documents which eventually had to be extracted by use of reasonable force.

All of Mr Tien’s fishing tackle and fish, along with his associates’ fishing tackle was seized by NRW Officers at the time of the incident. The district judge on the day at Swansea Magistrates Court gave permission to NRW to confiscate these items permanently from each of them.

The District Judge disqualified Mr Tien from driving for 12 months due to seriousness of the incident, and the premeditated and deliberate action of travelling such a distance to commit the offence.

He was also ordered to pay a total of £2,334 in fines, NRW costs and a victim surcharge.

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Mark Thomas, Fisheries Enforcement Officer for NRW, said: “We would like to again thank Dyfed Powys Police, the local communities and also the law-abiding anglers in the area for their continued support in reporting these illegal fishing activities.

“Foul hooking is a truly barbaric form of fishing carried out by a small minority of anglers in Wales, who have no regard for fish welfare.

“NRW and the Police take these incidents seriously as do the courts.

“Hopefully, the small minority of anglers who may in future, think of using any illegal fishing methods will take heed of the heavy fines and driving ban in this case issued by the courts.”

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales)

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Ammanford

Police appeal after cyclist dies in Garnant accident

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Dyfed Powys Police have issued an appeal after a cyclist died in a single vehicle road traffic collision on Friday (6 May).

The accident took place around 8.45pm outside the Discovery Book Shop on Cwmamman Road in Garnant, Ammanford.

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A spokesperson for Dyfed Powys Police said: “Sadly the 58 year-old male rider of the pedal cycle sustained serious injuries and passed away in hospital.

“We are appealing for any witnesses who may have seen the pedal cycle at the relevant time, or who may have dashcam footage if they travelled along this stretch of road at the time, to get in touch.

“Also local residents and business owners are asked to contact Police if they have any CCTV footage covering the location.”

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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