Scammer pretended to be a police officer to target Chesterfield woman

Derbyshire police has issued a warning to people of Chesterfield after a man pretended to be a police officer and tried to con a woman out of her cash.

Wednesday, 6th September 2017, 5:01 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:29 pm

The woman, who lives in Hasland, received a telephone call this morning (Wednesday, September 6) from a man claiming to be a police officer working on as part of a fraud team in London.

He said she had been the victim of a fraud offence, but the woman suspected it was a scam and contacted us to check.

It appears to be the latest in a series of incidents in the area where people have been called unexpectedly by someone claiming to be a police officer.

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On Tuesday, August 8 four victims were told to withdraw large amounts cash, take the money home and then await collection. Two people did as they were instructed and the money was collected by the offenders.

Detective Constable Purdy Bale-Hewitt, of North Division CID in Chesterfield, said: “We are seeing a number of couples and individuals, who are primarily elderly, being targeted in this way.

“The fraudsters will call the victim on a landline telephone and say they are a police officer. A name, rank and collar number is sometimes offered and they will generally claim to be from the Metropolitan Police, but others have been used.

“They will tend to speak with an air of authority and then talk to the individual about their finances being exposed to fraud, often providing personal details to make them sound very convincing, which can understandably panic the person receiving the call.

“The victim is then told to go to their bank and withdraw funds to avoid losing more money, and that a police officer will call to collect it. Someone will then arrive at the house at an arranged time, sometimes with an agreed password, and the cash is handed over to the criminals.”

Police are strongly urging residents who receive a call of this nature to call 101 to check this is a genuine call, and do not give any personal details.

DC Bale-Hewitt added: “Never withdraw cash at the request of a stranger, no matter who they claim to be. A genuine police officer will never call a member of the public to ask them to withdraw money from their bank account. If you receive a call like this it is highly likely to be a scam. Hang up and call 101.

“The victims of crimes like these are often vulnerable, which makes it an especially difficult crime to stomach. If you have any elderly relatives or friends please tell them about this scam, and what to do if they get a call.

“If you have received a call like this, but suspected it was a scam, please also let us know. The more details we have about incidents mean there are more enquiries we can make. There have been many fraudsters successfully stopped, prosecuted and imprisoned, and we will do everything we can to stop this recent trend.”