Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 16°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

A double lightining strike has hit and destroyed a house. Darren Hobson surveys the damage. Picture: Stephen Huntley.

A hero father-of-six who led his family to safety following a lightning strike to his home has praised his neighbours’ support.

Stuart Cullen, from the Lowestoft area, who died in the terrorist attack in Tunisia.

The family of a man who died in the Tunisian massacre have paid tribute to their “third musketeer”.

Danny and Lydia Mehmed

More than 30 friends and family are putting their best foot forward for a sponsored run in memory of a devoted friend, mother and wife who died after a year-long battle with a brain tumour.

Joy Poppy, aged 82, who died following a collision in Woodbridge on July 1

Mrs Poppy died after a collision in New Street, Woodbridge, on Wednesday.

Libby Brown headteacher at Kyson Primary, Woodbridge.

A board of school governors has launched a fierce attack on Suffolk County Council after their headteacher had to stop work for seven weeks.

BBC Radio Suffolk's Mark Murphy with one of the Scamnesty bids

A Suffolk Trading Standards Scamnesty campaign is using special bins across the county in a bid to snare unscrupulous conmen.

Cedar House, Pytches Road, Melton - set to have ten new homes in its grounds.

Developers who have bought a prime site on the edge of Woodbridge from the district council expect to submit proposals to create new homes next month.

Beach patrol rescue spaniels from Clacton beach.
Owner and her dogs.

A beach patrol team at Clacton swung into action to rescue two dogs yesterday evening.

Police in Ipswich are investigating a number of incidents where eggs were thrown at people and buildings in the town.

Culford Girls under 18 Hockey Team January 1990

Were you a member of the Culford girls under 18 hockey team in January 1990. Were you in the squad photographed here?

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages