Fake police con victims out of more than £380,000

Maldon and Burnham Standard: An efit image of the courier who collected the £1,800 from the Maldon victim. The man was said to be aged in his 20s and wore black clothing. Anyone who recognises him should contact the Operation Seaford team at Essex Police on 101. An efit image of the courier who collected the £1,800 from the Maldon victim. The man was said to be aged in his 20s and wore black clothing. Anyone who recognises him should contact the Operation Seaford team at Essex Police on 101.

Fraudsters claiming to be officers from Essex or the Metropolitan Police are continuing to target mainly elderly people into handing over their bank details or large sums of cash.

Their scam involves tricking their victims into believing their bank details had been obtained by thieves, who are said to be under arrest, and that 'police' need them to withdraw banknotes to be examined for fingerprints.

In the past month, four people in the Maldon, Chelmsford and Braintree districts have been tricked into handing over more than £27,000 to the thieves.

The thefts were at: South Woodham Ferrers on April 14 where £10,000 was stolen; Maldon on April 18 where £1,800 was taken, Chelmsford on April 22 where £8,250 was taken and Witham on April 24 where the thieves took £7,750.

In all the incidents couriers were sent by the thieves to collect the cash.

Two similar incidents at Braintree and Felsted, were foiled by bank staff who warned customers of the scam when they attempted to withdraw large sums of cash.

The victim at Braintree on April 10 had tried to withdraw £4,000 and the victim from Felsted had intended to give the thieves £3,000.

More than 20 other people in central Essex have received calls from the tricksters since the start of the month, including eight in one day in Maldon and three in Braintree, but they all realised the calls were scam attempts and contacted police.

More than 750 similar thefts and attempted thefts have been reported in Essex since the scam first came to light in January 2013, and similar crimes have been reported in the Met Police area and other counties.

More than 110 people in Essex have been tricked out of money and the total stolen is more than £380,000. Six people have been arrested in connection with the investigation.

Comments (2)

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2:12pm Wed 30 Apr 14

OMPITA [Intl] says...

Delighted to see that Bank staff acted proactively in a couple of these instances - but did they actually get the police immediately involved so that the villains could perhaps have been apprehended in the act?

Seems such a shame that arrests weren't made.
Delighted to see that Bank staff acted proactively in a couple of these instances - but did they actually get the police immediately involved so that the villains could perhaps have been apprehended in the act? Seems such a shame that arrests weren't made. OMPITA [Intl]
  • Score: 4

10:01am Thu 1 May 14

Hawthorne says...

Agree...Can't be too hard to organise...have a copper answer the door and make an arrest. Can't they manage to stop a crime even when given the date and time it'll occur? Think the bank should/could have done more here...
Agree...Can't be too hard to organise...have a copper answer the door and make an arrest. Can't they manage to stop a crime even when given the date and time it'll occur? Think the bank should/could have done more here... Hawthorne
  • Score: 2

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