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Bogus police officer cons £10,000 out of 81-year-old woman

An 81-year-old woman from a Cheshire village has been conned out of more than £10,000 by fraudsters.

The pensioner from Shavington, received a telephone call from a man who wanted to speak to her in relation to her bank account on Tuesday.

Following a short conversation she was subsequently transferred to a woman who claimed to be a Cheshire police officer.

The woman informed the victim that her bank were producing fake bank notes and informed her that she needed to withdraw all her money and the officer would keep it safe.

She then organised for a taxi to collect the victim and take her to the bank where she withdrew over £10,000.

A short time later, sometime between 3.30pm and 4pm on Tuesday 19 November, a courier attended the victims address on Greenfields Avenue, and collected the money.

The courier is described as a young dark skinned man, with dark curly hair. He was wearing a high-visibility jacket.

Detective Constable Kieran Heathcote said: “Sadly, scams of this nature are becoming more common and it’s often the most vulnerable people in our society who are targeted.

“Over-the-phone fraudsters can be very convincing and use they often use a range of tactics to try to convince victims to part with their money.

“In this case, the tactics used by the fraudster resulted in the victims handing over more than £10,000.

“Enquiries in relation to the incident are ongoing and we are committed to doing all that we can to trace the people responsible and bring them to justice.

“As part of the investigation I’m keen to hear from anyone who was on Greenfields Avenue between 3.30pm and 4pm on Tuesday 19 November and witnessed anything suspicious or believes they may have seen the courier.

“The same goes for anyone with a dashcam who was driving on Greenfields Avenue around the time the money was collected.”

DC Heathcote added: “I’d like to take this as an opportunity to remind residents, especially the elderly community, to be vigilant.

“No-one should withdraw or transfer any money from their account if they are asked to do so over the phone, no matter who the person on the other end of the line claims to be.”

The force’s advice to prevent yourself from falling victim to such scams is:

• The police will never ask you to become part of an undercover investigation or for you to withdraw cash and hand it to them for safe-keeping.
• Be wary of any calls, texts or emails purporting to be from the police or anyone else asking for your personal or financial details, or for you to transfer money
• If you are approached, or feel something is suspicious, hang up the phone and do not reply and then report it to police on 101, Action Fraud and your bank on its advertised number.

Anyone with any information in relation to the incident is asked to contact Cheshire Police on 101, quoting IML 569079. Information and dashcam footage can also be submitted online at www.cheshire.police.uk.

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