December 9 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Telephone tricksters posing as police officers or bank officials have conned two people out of nearly £25,000.
A man and a woman, both in their 70s and from Braintree, are the latest target for the fraudsters.
Criminals have called nearly 300 people since January in an attempt to obtain bank account and credit card details.
Around 40 of the victims fell for a variety of false stories and lost money ranging from a few hundred pounds up to £22,000.
A total of £164,000 has been stolen since the start of the year.
Inspector Paul Wells said: “Most of the successful frauds in Essex have involved people being tricked into giving their bank account and PIN numbers or handing over their bank cards.
“These have then been used to withdraw cash or buy valuable items.
“As a result of our widespread media campaigns in Essex warning of the bank card scam, the thieves seem to have changed their approach.
“They are trying to convince people that their bank accounts are at risk and money should be moved out of those accounts.
“People should remember that banks would never ask you to move money from one account to another and they would never ask you to hand over cash.”
In the latest con in Braintree, the woman was called by a man claiming to be from the fraud department of her bank.
He claimed a large amount of money had been taken fraudulently and that she needed to transfer her savings to a safer account.
The victim was given a bank account and sort code, and transferred £10,000.
She reported it to police on Thursday.
The second victim was also contacted by a caller claiming to be bank official investigating fraud at the man’s branch.
He was asked to make eight cash withdrawals so his account could be monitored. The man withdrew £14,500, £10,000 of which was in Euros, between September 14-17 and was asked to hand the money over to the investigator.
A courier collected the cash but was never seen again.
Insp Wells added: “The victims tend to be vulnerable or elderly people, ranging in age from 70 to 90, although some much younger people have been targeted.
“We would urge everyone to be on their guard and if you have elderly relatives to make sure that they are warned about these despicable crimes.”
Anyone with information should call the Operation Seaford investigation team on 101.