Can you help
Fraudsters scam elderly victim into buying luxury watch
Can you help us identify this man, who we want to speak to in connection with a fraud?
An 86-year-old woman from Westcliff was scammed into buying a watch worth a five figure sum of cash after receiving a telephone call from a man claiming to be from the ‘National Fraud Squad’, who alleged her bank card had been cloned.
She was told to hang up the phone and dial 999 to confirm he was genuine. However when she did so the fraudsters had kept the line open and she spoke to a different person who claimed the investigation was genuine.
She then spoke to the first person, who asked her to buy a Rolex watch worth a five figure sum. He claimed this was to help the investigation because it was believed the watch was fake.
She refused but received numerous phone calls the following day. The fraudsters claimed she was obstructing the police and she was persuaded to buy the watch.
After doing so, she was called again and asked to deliver the watch to a ‘detective’. She refused and said they would need to go to her with ID to prove who they were.
However they called persistently and she was persuaded to meet the person near Chalkwell train station to hand it over.
Officers have been carrying out enquiries since the incident took place over November 6 and 7 last year.
They are now in a position to release a CCTV image of a man they want to identify and speak to in connection with the investigation.
We appreciate it is not the clearest image but hope someone may be able to identify him.
He was described as aged 18 and wore a black jacket with a red emblem on it.
Dc Ed Massey, of the Serious Economic Crime Unit, said: “These fraudsters were very persuasive and the victim has been left distraught.
“I am determined to find those responsible for this crime before they can prey on any other vulnerable victims.”
"If you receive a call you are not expecting and are suspicious of the conversation you have with the caller, put the phone down and contact police on 101.
"Remember to wait at least five minutes before making the call or use a mobile or someone else’s phone to ensure you are not reconnected to the fraudster.
"Police would never ask for your bank account details or PIN, nor ask you to withdraw money or to buy anything and to send to them via a courier, taxi or any other means. They would also never ask you to send your bank cards or other personal property to them."
- Anyone who recognises the man pictured or has any information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact Dc Ed Massey in the Serious Economic Crime Unit at Chelmsford on 101.