Police investigating bogus callers targeting elderly people claiming to be from Barclays Bank

Essex Police are investigating incidents where elderly people have been approached by suspects prete

Essex Police are investigating incidents where elderly people have been approached by suspects pretending to be from Barclays Bank. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

A number of people have been arrested in connection with numerous incidents where elderly people have been contacted by callers claiming to be from Barclays Bank.

Incidents have been reported in a number of locations across north Essex and it is believed they may be linked to similar ones in Suffolk.

Essex Police is investigating several incidents over the last two months where victims in their 70s and 90s have been called by people claiming to be from Barclays Bank.

In each of the cases, the elderly person has been told a courier needs to go to their house to exchange their bank card for a new one.

The incidents have been reported in Colchester, Brightlingsea, Tiptree and Kelvedon.

Four men were detained by police on Tuesday April 14 on suspicion of committing fraud by false representation; two 23-year-old men from Barking and Dagenham, a 25-year-old man from West Ham and an 18-year-old man from Croydon.

All four were released on bail until Monday May 5. However, the 25-year-old from West Ham and 23-year-old from Dagenham were re-arrested yesterday, Thursday April 23.

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Both remain in custody for questioning alongside two 22-year-old men from Walthamstow and Ilford.

All of the suspects are being detained on suspicion of fraud by false representation following another two incidents where two women in their 90s were targeted in Frinton and Kirby Cross yesterday.

DC Hollie Hughes, of Clacton CID, said: “Fraudsters will take advantage of any situation and will be very persuasive, so I ask people to please remain vigilant.

“Your bank will never ask you to send your bank cards, money or other personal property, via a courier, taxi or other means.”

DC Hughes also reminded people that your real bank will never ask for your bank account details or PIN over the phone, but if it does happen to challenge them as a genuine caller will not mind verifying themselves.

She added: “Wait at least five minutes to ring your bank to check with them the validity of the call, or use another phone, as fraudsters can wait on the line.”

Essex Police are continuing to investigate the incidents and ask anyone with information to contact them by calling 101 or online.

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