Police are urging people to be vigilant following four incidents in south Essex where suspects posing as fraud detectives have attempted to con vulnerable people.
At around 3pm on Tuesday, January 9, a man called a 94-year-old woman from Leigh and told her that her bank card had been used to purchase items illegally in Brighton.
The victim was asked to remain on the line, press three digits and then speak to a detective on the phone. She then spoke to a woman but grew suspicious, hung up and called a relative.
At around 4.20pm that day, a 73-year-old woman in Westlcliff was contacted and told that her card had been used to purchase high value items in Birmingham. The same tactics were used but this victim also grew suspicious and hung up.
Later that day a third elderly woman, from Southend, was called, told that there was suspicious activity on her account and asked to withdraw thousands of pounds. The victim went into her bank the following day, told staff and police were called at 10am.
The final report was made at 12.40pm on Friday, January 12, by an elderly woman in Benfleet who also hung up and contacted police.
Investigating officer DS Rachel Jeffery said: “The suspects are preying on their elderly victim’s trust and respect for police officers in an attempt to con them out of hundreds, and in some cases thousands of pounds.
“Fortunately, in each case reported to us last week the victims were rightly suspicious and either told a relative, police or their banks.
“Remember we will never ask you for personal bank details on the phone or ask you to withdraw any sums of cash.
“We would always talk to you in person if we were concerned about anything suspicious reported to us.
“Even at your doorstep, continue to remain vigilant and ask an officer to show their identification, we won’t mind you asking to see.”
For more advice on bogus callers and scams visit: https://www.essex.police.uk/advice/bogus-callers/.