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.

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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.

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