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Conmen posed as police on phone and asked victim to withdraw cash from bank
6:10am Friday 20th December 2013 in News
POLICE have warned the public to be on their guard after “despicable conmen” duped a man into withdrawing thousands of pounds from his bank account.
The man, aged in his late 60s, received a call from fraudsters telling him his bank card had been fraudulently used and two men had been arrested.
The caller, who identified himself as a DC West from Hammersmith police station in London, also told the victim to immediately call and cancel his debit card.
But when the pensioner, who lives in Coggeshall, called his bank, he was reconnected to the fraudster, who pretended to have cancelled his card.
After that call, on December 2, the man was asked to withdraw £8,000 from his bank account which he was told would be used in evidence against the two mythical suspects. It was to be collected by courier.
But before the money was handed over, the man contacted the local branch of his bank and was told to immediately cut contact with the callers and call the police.
An Essex Police spokesman said: “These scams originated in London and have moved into Essex, starting in the west of the county, but there is a real concern now these people are targeting residents in north and mid-Essex.
“They are sophisticated scams where the callers use all sorts of police ranks and I would urge people to stay vigilant.”
Det Insp Paul Maleary, of Essex Police, added: “The average age of the people being targeted by these despicable thieves is 77, but there have been victims in their 90s and in their 50s.
“Inmost of the recent cases, the callers claiming to be from the police say they are from Hammersmith or Holborn police stations and in the Met Police.
“People should remember that banks would never ask you to move money from one account to another and they would never ask you to hand over cash.”
In the past 12 months, there have been 530 attempted thefts in Essex. More than 80 people have been tricked out of money to a value of £274,000.
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