Vulnerable victims in Essex conned out of thousands in scam featuring fraudsters posing as police

Scammers have been conning vulnerable victims out of large sums of money. Picture: ESSEX POLICE

Scammers have been conning vulnerable victims out of large sums of money. Picture: ESSEX POLICE - Credit: Archant

Police have warned people in Essex about a scam where fraudsters are posing as police officers claiming to be on an undercover operation.

Essex Police officers have received reports that people are being contacted by criminals who are purporting to be from the police or the fraud team from their bank.

They claim to be investigating frauds at banks where workers are suspected to be involved in issuing fake bank notes.

The fraudsters ask their victims to withdraw large sums of money and hand it over to a courier at an agreed time and place.

In other cases the criminals convince their victims to transfer money into a ‘safe account’ set up by the fraudsters to protect it from bank staff.

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In the last month, two women aged 77 and 90 have handed over thousands of pounds after falling for the scam and withdrawing funds from banks in Colchester and Wivenhoe.

Detective Chief Inspector Lee Morton of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: “Criminals who carry out these types of offences prey on the most vulnerable members of society and care little if their victims are left penniless as a result of the lies they are spun.

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“We have made a number of arrests associated with this form of criminality in recent months and will continue to come down hard on anyone who poses as somebody they are not in order to trick people out of their savings.

“In the meantime we are fully supportive of the national campaign to raise awareness of this issue, which we hope will make people think twice before trusting others with their hard-earned money.”

Anyone with information which can help police, or who is targeted themselves should contact police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Scams should also be reported to the Financial Conduct Authority and Action Fraud.

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