Specials from across Cheshire have joined together to raise more than £1,400 for a woman who lost her savings to a heartless fraudster.
Officers were contacted by an 88-year-old Northwich woman who had fallen victim to a PPI Scam.
She had received a call from a man who told her that she was owed £9,000 in PPI payments and in order to receive the payments all she had to do was provide him with £1,000 worth of iTunes vouchers.
Believing that she was due a substantial pay out, the victim visited a Northwich supermarket and emptied her bank account in order to purchase the vouchers.
Later that day, after passing the details of the vouchers to the fraudster, the victim visited Northwich police station to check that everything was above board – only to discover that she had been deceived out of all her savings.
After speaking to the victim, and hearing about the impact the incident had on her, the helpdesk supervisor at Northwich station, who is also a Special Chief Inspector, felt compelled to help so emailed colleagues from the Special Constabulary to ask for ideas on what they could do.
Within three hours of sending the email the Special Chief Inspector had from emails from Special Constables across the force pledging more than £1,400 to reimburse the victim of the money that she had lost.
Specials helped "restore the victims’ faith in community spirit”
Celvyn Jones, Chief Officer of Cheshire Special Constabulary said; “I’m immensely proud of the Special Chief Inspector who set the wheels in motion and I’m overwhelmed by the generosity of my team.
“This was a sad case of a vulnerable woman who had been deceived of her life savings by a coldhearted criminal. Had it not been for the actions taken by the Special Chief Inspector, along with all of the Specials who have pledged to donate cash, then the victim would have been unable to buy the most basic of groceries or pay any of her bills.
“Yet, thanks to the compassion and kindheartedness shown by my team, the victim no longer needs to worry about how she is going to pay her next bill, which in turn has helped restore the victims’ faith in community spirit.”
As well as reimbursing the victim of the money that she has lost, Christopher Weston, a Crewe Special Constable who works at a Stoke-on-Trent branch of Sainsbury’s supermarket, has organised for the victim to receive a free hamper.
Northwich Chief Inspector Simon Meegan said: “Following this incident I want to issue a warning to other potential victims.
“Over the past week we have received several reports from local residents who have received hoax phone calls from a variety of different companies – these have included hoax PPI and HMRC calls.
“No legitimate company would ever call you and ask you to pay something over the phone using vouchers, nor would any government organisations phone you to demand a payment.
“My message is simple, you should never be afraid to question and if you’re unsure then you should always speak a relative or friend or if in doubt contact the police.”