Elderly Hertfordshire victims conned out of £35,000
PUBLISHED: 10:59 17 October 2016 | UPDATED: 10:59 17 October 2016
Police have issued a warning after elderly Hertfordshire victims were conned out of £35,000 by phone scammers.
Police are once again reminding people to remain vigilant around unexpected phone calls after a number of residents in Hertfordshire were targeted by phone scammers.
Since mid-September six incidents have been reported to police, with elderly victims being conned out of almost £35,000 in total.
On October 12, an 81-year-old woman was called by someone claiming to be a DC Hart. The caller said that money had been removed from the victim’s account and instructed her to withdraw £8,500 as part of the investigation. The victim did so and then received a further call asking her to read out the serial numbers on the money. She was told the money was counterfeit and someone was sent round to collect it.
On October 11, an 87-year-old man received a call from a man stating he was from the serious fraud office. The caller instructed the victim to withdraw £4,000 in Euros on two separate occasions. The victim became suspicious and no money was handed over.
An 89-year old woman was called several times on October 7, by someone claiming to be a DS Grant. The victim was told to withdraw £2,900 which was collected by a courier.
Between October 6 and 10, an 82-year-old woman was called by a man claiming to be DS Hart from Hammersmith Police Station. The victim was instructed to remove £7,000 from her account which was then collected by a courier. The following day, the caller rang again and requested £2,700 in Euros which was once again handed to a courier. The victim was told to expect another call that week but didn’t hear anything else.
A 73-year-old woman was called by fraudsters several times between October 3 and 11, by a man claiming to be Inspector Hart. The caller told the victim that offenders had used her account to purchase items. He asked the woman to withdraw £4,900 which would be collected by a courier. The victim informed the caller that she also had £1,000 in Euros for her holiday and was instructed to also hand this over to the courier.
The victim was then called again and informed that suspects had been detained outside a bank. She was told to attend another bank and withdraw £4,900 which was also collected by a courier.
During a subsequent call, the victim was told to withdraw £27,000 but a friend intervened and advised her to call the police.
Between September 15 and 16, a 90-year-old woman was called by a fraudster pretending to be a police officer who advised the victim there had been fraudulent activity on her account. She was instructed to withdraw £3,000 and hand it to a courier.
Detective sergeant Jon Leak, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s specialist unit which investigates distraction burglary and other crimes which target the elderly and vulnerable, said: “We are doing all we can to get the message out to older members of the community about these scams and I would once again urge people to please speak with elderly relatives, friends and neighbours to warn them about the tactics these fraudsters use.
“Police and banks would never ask you to withdraw money and hand it over to a courier. They would also never ask you to divulge PIN numbers. If you receive a call you have suspicions about, do not hesitate to hang up and contact police.”
Anyone who has been called in similar circumstances is asked to contact police on the non-emergency 101.