Suffolk woman conned out of £2,500 speaks out against scammers
A Hadleigh woman who lost £2,500 in a police scam has warned others to be alert to the crime.
The woman, who wants to remain anonymous, was alone at home on November 19 when a man pretending to be a detective from Scotland Yard phoned.
He claimed money in both her current and ISA accounts was compromised by fraudulent bank staff and needed to be withdrawn.
She was even told to call another police number to verify the detective’s identity. After an Ipswich bank declined her attempts to withdraw money from her ISA in cash she was told to visit a Hadleigh bank. There she took out £2,500 and returned home when she said alarm bells started to ring.
“It was scary, I thought he was a police officer and I never gave him my bank details, he was not interested in that – it was the cash,” she said.
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“He asked right at the start whether I was alone, I told him I was here on my own as my sister was in Sussex. When I started to wrap the money up I was having second thoughts but I was on my own and if I did not give it to them they would have taken it.”
Throughout the scam she was asked to keep her phone off the hook and keep the criminals updated with her progress.
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After collecting and wrapping the £2,500 in an old cereal box she waited for a knock on the door from a courier the man had organised.
Speaking about the man who collected the money: “He was quite an evil looking man to be honest, I did not get a good look because it was dark.”
On Wednesday similar scams were attempted on one person in Ipswich and a further two in Polstead Heath and Hadleigh.
Suffolk Constabulary said on all occasions criminals pretended to be police officers from London but no money was handed over in the latest attempts.
Officers have warned people that banks or the police will never ask for account details over the phone and if such a call is received to leave the landline for at least five minutes to make an outside call as fraudsters are known to keep the line open, play ringtones and hold music so the victim believes they are making a call to a legitimate number.
Anyone who believes they have been a victim of fraud should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Calls can also be made to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk