Knebworth woman speaks out after fraudsters pose as police officers
A WOMAN whose elderly mother-in-law was targeted by fraudsters posing as police officers is warning residents to be on their guard.
The 67-year-old Knebworth resident, who asked to remain anonymous, contacted the WHT after her husband’s mum was swindled by crooks using an “elaborate” scam.
She said that her mother-in-law – who we’ve named Julia to protect her identity – received a phone call from a man purporting to be a police officer, who said a criminal had tried to use her bank card to buy a �600 computer.
The ‘officer’ said a member of staff at her bank, Barclays, was under suspicion and warned her not to contact them lest it jeopardise the police investigation.
He then said an ‘officer’ would visit her at home later that day to get more information.
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When the ‘officer’ arrived he introduced himself in a professional manner and produced what appeared to be genuine identification. He then persuaded Julia, 83, to give up her bank cards in order to help the investigation and promised he would ring her later that evening.
However, Julia became uneasy while waiting for this call, so she called her local police station – and was shocked to learn the man who visited her did not work there.
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Her daughter-in-law said: “The perpetrators of this cowardly crime managed to somehow withdraw �300 in Barking, Essex, before the card was stopped.
“We must stop these bogus police officers trapping unsuspecting victims.”
Pc Peter Eames, investigating, said: “This appears to be the only reported incident of this nature in recent weeks.
“We did have a spate at the beginning of the year and an arrest was made in connection with these.”
He added: “If you do receive a call of this nature, whether from a police officer or your bank, do not give out your personal security details.
“Take the caller’s name, the department they work in and seek the official number from a telephone directory or website and call back to check their legitimacy.”