Don't miss a story sign up to Weston Mercury's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Fraudsters ‘posing as police officers’ to target elderly and vulnerable

PUBLISHED: 10:20 30 September 2017

The scam targets vulnerable and elderly people.

The scam targets vulnerable and elderly people.

Archant

Police are warning people to be on their guard against a growing ‘disgraceful’ scam where people are being duped out of cash and coerced into buying valuable items.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary is warning people about what it describes as a ‘growing fraud’ which has claimed a number of victims in the force area and is ‘preying on the elderly and vulnerable’.

The scam involves people being contacted by a man posing as a police officer who claims to be investigating a fraud at their bank.

The victim is then asked to take part in an ‘undercover investigation’ by obtaining cash from their bank account when they buy a high-value item, including Rolex watches.

Arrangements are then made for the victims to attend a meeting to hand over the cash or goods – the meeting point is sometimes a railway station – and the ‘detective’ then seizes cash and items as ‘evidence’.

Victims so far have been aged between 50 to 90.

Detective Inspector Richard Horsfall said: “Fraudsters will use a host of tactics to try to con people out of money. It is particularly disgraceful when they prey on the elderly and the vulnerable.

“A police officer, or any other official, will never ask for money or bank details over the phone or on the door-step or ask you to arrange to take them to a pre-arranged location. If you are unsure if the person is who they say they are, ask for identification such as their collar number and call 101 to check the name and the authenticity of the caller.

“Always make sure you use a different phone or even get a relative or neighbour to call to ensure the fraudster has not blocked the phone line. It is always unwise to use any number they give you to call back.

“We would also advise relatives of the elderly and those who have elderly neighbours to make them aware of these scams and also report any instances where people may have been victims of the fraudsters.”

If you want to report being a victim of this type of fraud call 101 and quote 5217219020.

Other News Stories

A self-appointed ‘sausage sandwich inspector’ has spent years trawling the nation for the perfect butty, but has finally found it – right on his doorstep.

Read more
12:00

Don’t miss our weekly round-up of photos submitted by our readers.

Read more
11:00

Villagers have ‘reluctantly’ submitted to plans for almost 2,000 homes, provided a Banwell bypass is built first.

Read more
18 minutes ago

Fedoras, trilbies and berets were the theme of the day at a Weston-super-Mare care home this week.

Read more

A Bristol Airport passenger has finally had her luggage returned to her – 14 weeks after it failed to arrive at her holiday destination.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00

A ping pong parlour has launched in Weston-super-Mare’s Sovereign Shopping Centre.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

A centuries-old West Country tradition will be celebrated this weekend as people prepare to wake the apple trees and scare off ghosts.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

A 42-year-old man has denied murdering his former partner.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:36

Police have caught a man who has been on the run this week.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

Runners from a Cheddar school have qualified for the Somerset Schools County Championships.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 4°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

Somerset's trusted business finder