Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 5°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Essex: Fake police officers in new bank scam

Fraudsters have tricked a north Essex man out of thousands of pounds by posing as police officers.

shares

He is the latest victim of a scam which has targeted 700 people in the county in just over a year.

The victim, a middle-aged man from the Dedham area, fell prey to a fake phone call on Monday evening.

Speaking exclusively to the EADT the man, who has asked not to be identified, said he felt sick when he realised what had happened.

The thieves took several cards, then made online purchases and withdrew £2,500 from a Manningtree cash machine, stealing around £5,000 altogether. He was one of 21 people targeted within 24 hours.

In all cases the caller claimed to be a detective from either the Metropolitan Police or their Essex counterparts, with similar false names used by the callers.

If successful the criminals use couriers to collect the cards from the victim’s address. The fraudsters sometimes invite the victim to call their bank but stay on the line, meaning if the victim calls immediately from the same phone they are simply reconnected to the criminals posing as bank officials.

This happened in the latest case when the victim was on the phone for about 90 minutes.

The victim, the only one to fall foul of the con in the latest calls, said: “Initially I was surprised – I didn’t think it was normal for the police to call.

“But he gave me his name and badge number, said there had been some fraudulent activity on my card and there were some people in custody, and it became very real and convincing.

“There was no time to think or consider anything else.

“They were extremely cunning. I didn’t tell them my PIN but typed it, and only gave four digits from my card. I was left feeling physically sick when it all dawned on me.

“I hold down a job and think I have a reasonable level of intelligence but it leaves you feeling very vulnerable, untrusting, and embarrassed.

“It will take some time for that trust to come back.”

A knock-on effect is victims are left without cards to do things such as shop online or buy petrol.

Essex Police is working with five neighbouring forces within the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit to tackle the national scam.

More than 100 Essex victims have been tricked out of more than £355,000 since January last year.

One man in his 70s, from Steeple Bumpstead, was conned out of more than £10,000 earlier this month.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Maleary, from Essex Police, said: “These criminals are having a significant impact on some of the most vulnerable members of our society and, sadly, no individual is immune from this type of fraud.

“Fortunately the majority of people quickly hang up or tell the tricksters to go away in no uncertain terms. But one successful crime is one too many and we will continue to issue these warnings.

“All their claims are absolute rubbish because the police and banks would never ask for details over the phone then send a courier to collect cards or cash.”

Advice from Essex Police:

- Police or bank officials would never call you and ask for your full bank details or to withdraw large sums of cash.

- If you think you have been a victim, call police from a different phone.

- If you don’t have another phone, use a neighbour’s, or wait five minutes before dialling 101 or 999 (if urgent).

shares

0 comments

Man ran up £24k debt on company credit card

A financial manager from west Suffolk who used his company credit card to join internet dating sites and buy flowers and jewellery, has been jailed for 15 months.

Suffolk's former Chief Constable, Simon Ash launching the Bin a Blade amnesty in December 2010.

Police chiefs last night insisted Suffolk is a safe place to live despite new figures revealing officers have seized more than 500 weapons being carried in public in the last four years.

Stock image of fire crews attending an incident.

Firefighters were called to a fire in an undercover market in Clacton last night.

Drink-driver Gintaras Sendzikas after his court hearing

An April Fools’ day drink-driver is facing a possible jail term after being arrested for drink-driving twice in 24 hours.

Could trains run around the clock?

A rail users group has called for an hourly service around the clock on the main line from London to Ipswich as part of the franchise to be awarded for East Anglia’s rail services next year.

Exhibition showing plans for 550 homes, shops, care and community facilities to be built on countryside on the edge of Felixstowe.

Problems with a council’s website have generated calls for an extension to the consultation period for the biggest housing development proposed in Felixstowe for 20 years.

Coastguard teams assisted the broken down jet ski STOCK IMAGE

A broken down jet ski to the south of Mersea Island was towed ashore by coastguard teams yesterday.

Firefighters extinguished a chimney blaze near Hadleigh on Wednesday night.

Strawberry Stores in Sudbury was hit by an armed robber

An 18-year-old man was arrested in Sudbury following an armed robbery at a convenience store in the town this afternoon.

Ian (L to R) and Debbi Tayler along with Tim Cocker standing with the rubbish they have collected from alongside the A12 in Stratford St Andrew

Littering motorists have been criticised for their “thoughtless” behaviour after a dozen large bin bags of rubbish – including a pair of pants – were collected from the roadside.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages