Scammer pretending to be a police officer stole thousands from 99-year-old man

A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the incident.

A Welwyn Garden City man had thousands of pounds taken from him by a man pretending to be a police officer. - Credit: Archant

Residents in Welwyn Hatfield are being reminded to stay vigilant after two recent incidents of scam phone calls where offenders have pretended to be police officers.

At around 10.30am on Saturday, January 9, a 99-year-old man living in Welwyn Garden City received a phone call from a person claiming to be ‘DC Andrew Clarke from Luton Police Station’.

He told the victim his bank account had been scammed and persuaded him to withdraw thousands of pounds. Later that day, at around 12.10pm, a male went to the victim’s address and collected the money.

The male is described as Asian, 5ft 8in tall, of a stocky build and with medium length dark hair. He was wearing a mask over his face and an anorak.

On Wednesday January 13, an 82-year-old woman living in North Mymms received bogus phone calls and a text between midday and 7.30pm.

The phone calls claimed to be from ‘DC Howard Pritchard at Holborn Police Station’ and then also from ‘New Scotland Yard Action Fraud Team’.

A story was concocted, falsely suggesting that the woman’s niece had been arrested and he went on to ask for her bank details.

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The victim was suspicious so ended the call and then contacted the police who confirmed that no such officer existed.

Sergeant James Stopford, from the Welwyn Hatfield Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “Fraudsters often try to trick people, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, out of their money by telephoning them at home and pretending to be someone trustworthy. In both these incidents, the police officers do not exist.

“The vital things to remember are that your bank and the police would:

• Never ask for your bank account details or PIN number over the phone, so do not disclose these to anyone, no matter who they claim to be.

• Never ask you to withdraw money and send it to them via a courier, taxi or by any other means.

• Never ask you to send your bank cards, or any other personal property, to them via courier, taxi or by any other means.

“If you are not happy with a phone call and are suspicious of the conversation you have with the caller then please end the call and report it to us.

“Finally, I would like to reassure you that we are thoroughly investigating these incidents to find those responsible. If anyone has information they think might help, please call the non-emergency number 101 or email me at james.stopford2@herts.pnn.police.uk.”

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