Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Police issue warning after fraudster posing as a police officer conned the couple out of more than £30,000.
POLICE are urging householders to be on their guard after a Bideford couple were duped out of more than £30,000 by ‘despicable’ fraudsters posing as police.
The retired couple received a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Metropolitan Police.
The caller claimed they had arrested someone in possession of the woman’s bank card and asked the woman to immediately phone the bank.
However, when the call was made the conman kept the line open, pretended to be the bank and confirmed large-scale fraudulent activity on her account.
He told her that her account was being used fraudulently by bank staff and she should withdraw the cash and send it to him as evidence.
The couple realised something was wrong and contacted police when the officer failed to turn up to an agreed appointment at their home.
Detective Constable Dave Major, from Bideford CID, said: “This is a despicable fraud with the offenders targeting elderly and vulnerable people who are trusting and were willing to help who they thought was a bona fide police officer.
“We would urge people to be aware of this scam and not to go along with it. The police would not phone members of the public in this way and we would ask anyone who is contacted by these people to phone police and report it straight away.”
Detective Inspector Praveen Naidoo added: “This is a national problem and it is important to note that police officers will never ask you for your bank details or to send money to them.”
Anyone with information can contact the police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.