Posted: 05.12.19 at 12:01 by The Editor
An elderly Oakham couple were duped out of £5,000 after falling foul of courier fraudsters.
The pensioners in their 80s were contacted by the conmen by telephone claiming to be a police officer.
A Leicestershire Police spokesman said: "The caller sounds plausible and may confirm the victim’s name and address, basic information which could be obtained easily.
"After trust has been gained, the fraudster will claim money has been withdrawn from the victim’s account by staff within their bank.
"They persuade them to go their local branch and take out a large sum of money from their account.
"The fraudsters then send someone to collect the money from the victim’s home address.
"Following that initial call the victims were contacted again two days later and informed that half the cash that was collected was counterfeit.
"They were persuaded to withdraw more money however the staff at the bank became suspicious and contacted the police to report their concerns."
Since October, Leicestershire Police has received five reports relating to similar offences commonly known as courier fraud and have issued a warning to residents.
Paul Wenlock from the force’s economic crime unit said: “Luckily in two of the five cases the fraud was prevented by either a third party or the victims themselves who became suspicious.
“This type of offence is of great concern to us. Suspects are targeting, in some occasions, elderly or vulnerable people.
"They sound genuine and gain the trust of the victims.
“The police or banks would not contact people in this way. If you get a call like this hang up.
"If you need to contact your bank to check wait five minutes as fraudsters can stay on the line even after you have hung up, or use a different line altogether.
"Your bank cards are yours and never let them be used by others.
“We are asking people to remain vigilant. If you have elderly neighbours or relatives who don’t access our website or social media sites please advise them of these incidents.
“At times the fraudsters use local taxi firms to transport potential victims to their banks. We would ask taxi companies to be mindful of this and if they have any suspicions to contact the police immediately."
Further advice about the scam - and how to protect against becoming a victim - can be found on the Action Fraud website by clicking the red button below.