Scammers steal £7,100 from Northamptonshire pensioners in one month by posing as police

Fraud squad's plea to spread the word over tricksters targeting county's elderly and vulnerable

By Kevin Nicholls
Thursday, 21st May 2020, 11:24 am
Updated Thursday, 21st May 2020, 12:02 pm

Sick scammers fleeced £7,000 from Northamptonshire pensioners in just one month of the lockdown...by posing as police officers.

Fraud squad detectives revealed April's shock figures from just a dozen cases, including one which targeted an 89-year-old.

Detective Sergeant Tim Craven warned: “Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations...and the police.

"They spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment.

“We are encouraging everyone to help us spread the word about this kind of scam to prevent any more people in our county being taken in by it.

“Please tell your friends and relatives, especially the elderly, that if they receive a telephone call of this kind, they should never give out any information or agree to assist the caller, however plausible they may seem.

“A police officer will never ever ask for money under any circumstances — and they will also not mind you wanting to ring 101 to verify their details. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.”

Crooks conned 7,100 out of 12 Northamptonshire pensioners during April

Police took reports of 12 cases during April — the first full month of the Covid-19 lockdown — where fraudsters telephoned potential victims claiming to be from banks, the police or other law enforcement authorities and tricking them into revealing PINs and bank card or other personal details.

They often do this by claiming they need help with an ongoing fraud investigation, or they have arrested someone who has cloned the victim’s bank cards.

These fraudsters commonly target the elderly and will sometimes brazenly turn up in person to collect cash from their victims

Those targeted in Northamptonshire in April were all between the ages of 70 and 89 and thieves made off with a total of £7,100.