Police warn of scam aimed at the elderly

Police are investigating a fraud where an elderly woman in Doddinghurst was targeted by someone claiming to be a police officer.

The victim, who’s in her 90s, received a call on August 18 from someone claiming to be a police officer based at a police station in London stating two men had been arrested and found with cash and a number of bank cards.

Initially she was told not to withdraw any money from her bank account but also told not to tell anyone they had called.

She had been told by the caller to dial 161 to verify they were really police officers and this took her through to a second person who told her they were.

In a follow-up conversation the man claiming to be a police officer stated that people were putting money into victims’ accounts and getting them to withdraw it.

He then told her she should go to her bank and withdraw £5,000, take her driving licence, and make up a story about why she was withdrawing it.

When she went to the bank they wouldn’t allow her to withdraw more than £250.

When she told the man posing as the police officer what had happened, he said he would contact the bank and be in touch the following day but has not been back in contact again.

Two days earlier a similar incident was reported to officers.

Police believe these incidents are a scam and are appealing for anyone with any information to contact them.

They also want to warn the public and are asking people to speak to elderly relatives to make them aware.

There’s advice about how to protect yourself from fraud on the website: https://www.essex.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/

If you have any information you can submit a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk or use the ‘Live Chat’ button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm.

Please quote the crime reference number 42/172397/21.

You can also call 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]