Residents are being warned to be vigilant after scammers were found to be targeting the elderly by posing as police officers in Sheffield.
Yesterday (Thursday, May 3), officers received reports of four incidents in the Woodhouse, Heeley, Broomhill and Totley areas of the city.
This follows two similar incidents on Tuesday (May 1) in the Hillsborough and Gleadless areas.
In each instance, one or two men have turned up at an address claiming to be a police officer looking into counterfeit cash used for previous work at the property.
Leading the investigation Temporary Detective Inspector Anna Sedgewick said: “We believe that a group of men, driving a silver Renault Laguna, are attending addresses in Sheffield where they are targeting elderly or vulnerable victims.
“One has been described as a white man, aged 35 to 40 years, around 5ft 10ins, of stocky build, with ginger hair and a ginger beard. He was wearing a black jacket and black trousers.
“The second man is described as having olive skin, aged around 35, around 5ft 10ins of medium build.
“He had a moustache and short beard and was wearing a padded coat and a dark baseball cap.”
The first incident happened at around 9.45am on Grove Road in Woodhouse when a smartly dressed man approached a 94-year-old home owner. He asked the occupant where he kept his money but was told to leave.
At around 11am, a man pretending to be a detective attended a property on Daresbury Road in Heeley, where he asked a 61-year-old to give a statement about tax evasion in relation to cash paid for previous work done on his garden.
He asked the victim if he kept cash in his home and when he was told no, he left telling the homeowner that his colleagues would be back in 20 minutes and “might not be as nice”.
At around 12.40pm, a man pretending to be a police officer attended an address on Hallam Gate Road in Fullwood where he showed the 85-year-old homeowner a police ID badge.
He talked the 85-year-old into owing him £4,000 and walked him to his local branch of HSBC on Fullwood Road. The victim went inside alone but when he told staff why he wanted the money they alerted the police. The offender waited outside but left the scene.
At 1.30pm an address on Grove Road in Totley was targeted. The bogus official, acting as a police officer, told the victim that they had paid for work in the past with fake money. He asked to be let in to check any remaining money. As the victim checked on her ill husband, the man left the scene taking £6,000 in cash.
T DI Sedgewick added: “I understand this will cause fear among members of the community but I can reassure you that a full investigation is underway including house to house enquiries and CCTV work.
“We are also working to trace the details of the car that we believe is linked to all of the incidents.
“I would urge anyone whether you have any concerns, or believe someone to be a bogus official, to report it immediately.”
How do I know if it’s a real officer? Signs to look for:
All of our officers carry photo warrant cards, which will always be presented to members of public they are visiting.
If you remain unsure, or believe the ID presented isn’t legitimate please call 101 who will be able to confirm an officers details.
Officers will also never make demands for cash or threaten victims with arrest if they do not comply.
If officers are attending a property to seize items or cash, they will have a valid search warrant which will presented before entry and the relevant legislation will be referenced.