Fake sheikh phone scam targets Muslim community

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Bedfordshire Police is warning residents to beware of a phone scam telling them they have recieved up to £50,000 in cash.

The calls, which are targetting the Muslim community, are being made by a man speaking English with a Middle Eastern accent claiming he is from the United Arab Emirates.

During the conversation he quotes the name and address of the victim claiming, as a fellow Muslim, they have been selected by the Sheikh to receive a £50,000 gift.

The caller, who identifies himself as a Muslim, then transfers the call to another person who arranges for the victim to open a new bank account into which they are asked to deposit £350.

During this process another two ‘managers’ are involved with the call and a unique reference number is given out. The last number is withheld until the new bank details are given before the money is due to ‘arrive within the next hour’.

Pc James Marshall said: “Clearly anyone could be targeted by this scam but it seems the Muslim community are particularly at risk.

“The people behind the scam are very persuasive but we have had a report from one potential victim who challenged the caller before saying he did not want to get involved, only to be told he ‘would be one of the ones that got away’.

Our advice no matter what the scam is to never pass on bank details over the phone, especially to an unsolicited caller.”

Anyone concerned about this scam, or is approached by a similar caller should call Bedfordshire Police on 101.