Ipswich: Woman, 75, handed over £2,000 to fake policeman before fraud scam foiled on M25
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2011
A 75-year-old woman in Ipswich targeted in a fraud scam by a man posing as a police officer was tricked into handing over thousands of pounds to conmen, police have said.
Suffolk Constabulary officers yesterday foiled the plan to defraud the victim, of west Ipswich, when acting on a tip-off and stopping a taxi on the M25 heading to London with the £2,000 cash.
Officers reunited the woman with the money she had withdrawn and passed over to the conmen. One of them impersonated a policeman and claimed to be investigating a fraud incident on her bank account.
Suffolk Constabulary community safety manager Alan Osborne said: “These are despicable crimes where these conmen are targeting elderly, vulnerable people who receive a call from someone they believe to be genuine.
“Your bank, building society or a police officer will never make a call such as this and will never ask for your bank details or ask you to withdraw money.”
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A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “An elderly lady has had £2,000 returned after a scam was disrupted by police yesterday.
“A 75-year-old woman from west Ipswich was contacted at around 11.50am from a man claiming he was a police officer who was investigating a fraud incident on her bank account.
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“The woman was told that in order for the case to be in investigated she needed to withdraw £4,000 from her bank account and a taxi driver would collect the money later that day to be taken to the police.
“The victim said she was unable to withdraw that amount of money but could manage £2,000.
“Throughout the conversation the woman was told by the ‘police officer’ that if she had any concerns she should hang up and call the local police on 101 to confirm the details were correct.
“It would appear that the offender didn’t hang up, leaving the line open.
“When the woman made the clarification call she spoke to another ‘conman’ who confirmed that the call was genuine.
“Officers became aware of the scam when a local taxi company contacted Suffolk Constabulary stating that they had been asked to collect a package and take it to London.
“The victim, who had been told throughout by the fake police officer not to divulge any information, had told the taxi driver that the money was for her son.
“The taxi was stopped on the M25 prior to its destination with the driver being made aware that this was indeed part of a scam.
“While a Suffolk police officer visited the lady’s house to take a statement, the officer answered a call that came in from the conmen; when he realised he had been found out he became abusive to the officer and threatened that he would continue to carry out scams like this because he would never be found out.”
Mr Osborne added: “I cannot stress enough the importance that word spreads about this type of crime.
“Please if you know someone elderly spread the word, tell them about this scam and the importance, no matter how convincing the person is, not to give out bank details or agree to withdraw any money and pass it to a courier or taxi driver.”
And a similar case was reporterd earlier this month.