South Yorkshire Police issue warning after elderly man is conned out of £6,000

A warning has been issued by South Yorkshire Police after an elderly man was conned out of £6,000 in a scam.

Wednesday, 11th November 2020, 1:50 pm

The force said ‘courier fraudsters’ are targeting vulnerable people and phoning them to claim to be from their bank or another official authority.

Their scam involves them convincing victims that they need their help to solve a fraud case.

Victims may then hand over 'evidence' in the form of their bank cards, cash or other high value goods to a courier who is sent to their home.

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A cordon of police tape (Photo credit should read NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images)

DC Tim Bell, from South Yorkshire Police’s fraud co-ordination team, said: “Action Fraud has made us aware of a number of courier fraud incidents in Barnsley and Sheffield over the last few days, including six in the same day – yesterday.

“Courier fraudsters are extremely cruel - they pose as officials and then betray their victims' trust in a nasty scheme to steal their money or expensive items.

“In one recent incident, an elderly gentleman lost £6,000 after receiving a call from somebody who claimed to be a DS Brown from the Paddington fraud squad. This fake police officer told the victim their bank account had been used fraudulently and he needed the victim's help to investigate the bank.

“The victim withdrew £6,000 from his bank account and, when he got home, gave the serial numbers of the notes to the fraudster. The victim was told the notes were counterfeit and needed to be collected by an officer. A few hours later, a man turned up at the victim's home and collected the money.”

Before police were called, the same victim had also gone to a watch specialist and tried to buy two Rolex watches totalling £25,000 but staff became suspicious and raised the alarm.

DC Bell added: “I'd urge anyone who has elderly or vulnerable relatives or loved ones to check up on them and make sure they know not to fall for it if they are contacted themselves.

“If you think you are on the phone to a fraudster, hang up the phone straightaway and then call back your bank, or the police, on a trusted number using a different phone line or mobile.”