Fraudsters posing as police officers scam Stamford people out of money
Criminals impersonating police officers have swindled people out of thousands of pounds through a string of bogus calls.
Seven offences have been reported in the Stamford area over the past week, with one woman in her 60s handing over £10,000 in cash to a courier who came to her door. Another woman lost £6,300.
Both had been convinced that the people contacting them worked for the police.
Mark Jackson, 52, of Queen's Walk, Stamford, said his mother, who is in her later 70s, fell victim to the scam this week.
He said: "She is quite a clever woman, but because she thought she was speaking with police she did as they said. She's a law-abiding citizen and wanted to do the right thing.
"They arranged for a taxi to take her to the bank and for a courier to collect the money from her at home.
"They also told her not to talk to anyone about it, because they said it was part of a top secret fraud investigation.
"It was £6,300, so it's not the end of the world, but they have terrorised her.
"What they are doing is a disgrace and I want people to be aware and tell friends and family members so that no one else falls victim to them."
The criminals begin by phoning to say there is a concern about the victim's bank account and that their money is not safe.
They then say they will protect the person's savings by helping to transfer them.
Insp Ian Martin from Stamford police said: "They tell the victim to lie to bank staff when they go into their branch to withdraw money, because the staff are trained to ask questions when someone withdraws a large amount of cash.
"They do this by saying that the bank staff are in on it, and can't be trusted.
"It's a despicable crime because it breaks down the trust people have in the police. People may think they wouldn't fall for it, but these criminals are persuasive."
Insp Martin added that while several incidents had been reported to Lincolnshire Police and neighbouring forces in the past few days, there may have been other cases that have not been reported because the victims were unaware that they had been scammed, or because they are embarrassed to come forward to report it.
"We want people to talk to neighbours and relatives about what is happening. The more people who know about it, the fewer will succumb to the crime.
"We also want to hear from people who think they might have fallen victim as information they have will be useful to our investigation."
Insp Martin said real police officers would never ask people to move money from a bank account.
To report a similar crime or supply information call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
Police are advising people on how to avoid this scam:
• Neither the police, your bank nor any other trusted organisation will ever ask you to withdraw cash from your account, or move money to a safe account, or send someone to collect money or your bank card from you
• Never disclose any personal or financial information, including your PIN or account details, as a result of an unexpected call
• If you are unsure as to the identity of a caller, end the call, wait five minutes until the line has fully cleared, and call back the organisation on a trusted number you have obtained yourself
• Please report all such incidents to police on 101
• Visit the Take Five to Stop Fraud website for more advice on how to stay safe from scams.
More by this authorSuzanne Moon