Elderly Fylde couple conned out of £25,000 by man posing as police officer
An elderly Fylde couple have been conned out of nearly £25,000 after falling prey to a scammer posing as a police officer.
Lancashire Police are urging people to be vigilant after the couple from Bank Lane in Warton were duped out of most of their life savings by a fraudster claiming to be a Met Police detective investigating bank fraud.
The pensioners, both aged in their 80s, received a phone call from the conman, who told them that he was calling from Scotland Yard in London as part of an investigation into alleged suspicious conduct of staff at their local bank.
He said there had been an attempt to use a fraudulent credit card in the woman’s name, and urged her to withdraw nearly £25,000 in cash over a number of days.
The man said the money would promptly be returned to their account once he had concluded his investigation.
The woman then received two further phone calls from the man, in which he again convinced her to make another two further withdrawals, claiming he needed more evidence.
Again the fraudsters said the money would be returned.
On three days – November 26, November 30 and December 4, a man showed up after 8pm at the couple’s home to collect the cash.
He is described as wearing a dark hoodie with the hood raised, as well as a face covering.
The fraud was later reported to police and an investigation was launched.
Police are appealing for more information and are urging anyone with CCTV in the Bank Lane area to come forward.
"The damage done by the offenders committing these offences is hard to repair and often the shock and trauma from becoming a victim of crime is never fully recovered from.
"I would like to speak to anybody who was in or around the area Bank Lane, Warton, on the above dates, between 8pm and 10pm.
"If you have CCTV or dashcam footage, or recall seeing the man described, please come forward.“I am asking people to be vigilant and if you get this type of phone call, report it to the police and your bank immediately.
"People who commit these offences will often target the elderly posing as officials to gain their confidence and trust.
"No police officer or other official body will ever ask for your bank details or would ever ask you to withdraw or transfer funds. No police officer will ever ask you to give them cash or to hand this cash to a courier.
"When dealing with police or other officials in person, ask to see their identification. If dealing with a police officer over the phone and you doubt they are the police, you can ask them for their collar number and surname and then call 101 to verify that they do work for the police.
"If in doubt, end the call and report to the police or Action Fraud. If you have an elderly friend or relative, please let them know that this has happened so they can avoid becoming a potential victim.
"Similarly, I am asking people to check on elderly or vulnerable people in the community.
"Has their behaviour changed? Are they anxious around the telephone, taking calls at a set time and being secretive about the calls? Do they appear stressed and anxious but reluctant to talk or lacking trust in banks?
"Finally, have they started to withdraw cash or is there a large amount of cash in their address? If so, please get in contact with us immediately."
Anyone with information can call Lancashire Police on 101, quoting investigation number 04/186204/20.
You can also email [email protected]
Alternatively, you can contact independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.
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