Be alert to fraudsters on phone
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We are investigating after fraudsters targeted an elderly woman in Saffron Walden and are asking residents to be vigilant.
An 83-year-old woman was contacted on 17 November and 23 December by two men claiming to be police officers investigating counterfeit money at a bank.
They persuaded her to withdraw a five figure sum of money, which was collected by a courier.
On both occasions, he met her at the junction of Hollyhock Road and Radwinter Road in Saffron Walden to collect the money.
He was described as white, aged in his late teens or early 20s, and had short black hair. He wore dark clothing and had a grey rucksack.
She was contacted again in mid-January and asked to set up a savings account, allegedly for the fraudsters to put money into, but she refused.
PC Ritch Morris said: “We are continuing our enquiries to find those responsible and urge anyone who has received similar phone calls to please contact us.
“We are investigating similar incidents in the county and I’d ask people to please be vigilant, as these callous criminals are very persuasive.
“Police officers, law enforcement agencies and banks will never ask you to send money, bank cards or other personal property via a courier, taxi or other means.
“They will also never ask for your bank account details or PIN over the phone, so please don’t disclose these to anyone.”
Challenge anyone who asks you such details and if you are suspicious they are not genuine, end the phone call.
Wait at least five minutes to ring your bank to check with them the validity of the call, or use another phone, as fraudsters can wait on the line.
Please report any suspicious calls to us so we can investigate.
Anyone who has any information about the Saffron Walden incidents is asked to contact the Uttlesford local policing team quoting reference 42/4366/21.
Contact us online where you can also use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm.
You can also call 101.
Alternatively, contact the Crimestoppers charity 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 or use the anonymous online form.
You can also use these contact details to tell us if you have been affected by similar frauds.
Click here for more advice on identifying the signs of fraud.