Elderly man gave £10,000 to a fake police officer

Elderly man gave £10,000 to a fake police officer

People are being reminded to exercise caution after an elderly man was tricked into giving a fraudster posing as a police officer £10,000 in exchange for his money.

According to Devon police, there has been an uptick in complaints reporting a man posing as a police officer and demanding money.

Police claim a lady in her 70s was drawing up a “significant sum of money” in the South Devon and Tiverton districts, but they were able to stop it in time.

We advise anybody who gets such a call not to provide any personal information and to hang up right away, according to Detective Inspector Jo Devonshire.

‘This sort of contact may be related to courier fraud, when victims are pushed to withdraw money from their bank accounts or deliver bank cards to a courier, coordinated by the ‘police officer’ making the call under the pretence of ‘assisting with a police investigation,” according to the report.

“We will never get in touch with a person and ask for their banking information or ask them to take money out of their account to help an inquiry.”

Det Insp. Devonshire said, “Fraudsters often target geographic regions where they know elderly or vulnerable individuals reside, therefore we are requesting that you make them aware of this scam if you have relatives or friends who are vulnerable in any way.”

This coincides with an increase in scams in recent months, one of which uses WhatsApp to prey on naïve individuals.

The “Hi Mum, Hi Dad” scam as it is called convinces a person they are their son or daughter by sending them a message with this phrase.

The con artist will then continue by alleging a problem and demanding money.

According to a fraud specialist, the perpetrators of this scam have started contacting victims using new channels including text messaging and ‘conventional’ SMS.

Recent months have seen an increase in WhatsApp scams, with 1,235 referrals to Action Fraud between February 3 and June 21. These scams have defrauded Britons out of £1.5 million in only six months.

It happens after 53-year-old nurse Toni Parker lost £2,450 to a con artist who pretended to be her son and demanded money after dropping his phone in the toilet.

Angela Briscoe, a 66-year-old retiree, said last month that she lost over £10,000 to the fraud and was only able to retrieve half of it via the bank.

Sky Sports pundit Jacqui Oatley has also been outspoken about alerting people about the scams after she disclosed that hundreds of parents were fooled into thinking their children were in danger, including her mother, as well as thousands of others.

I’m eager to warn you about a scam that my sweet, loving mother so nearly fell for, Ms. Oatley said in a tweet after posting screenshots of the messages to her followers. It seemed very plausible.

“Someone phones someone close to you on your behalf while posing as you but using a different phone number, asking them to rapidly pay a bill for you before you pay them back.”

Chris Ainsley, director of fraud risk management at Santander UK, claims that although these scams have historically started on WhatsApp, they are now now showing up on other messaging platforms.

We saw a large uptick in bogus WhatsApp messages purporting to be sent by people’s children, he said.

“That is still going on.” In the last month, it has ramped back up, and now we see it on “conventional” SMS or text messages in addition to WhatsApp.

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