Police in Harrogate are investigating after a woman in her 70s in Harrogate was conned out of £9,000 in a cruel courier fraud.
The victim was phoned at approximately 2pm on 10 April 2018 by a man who claimed to be a Police Sergeant from Humberside Police.
He told the victim that he was part of an undercover operation and that they have arrested two men who they believe have withdrawn £16,000 in cash from her bank account before replacing it with counterfeit money.
They also told her that they believed someone in the victim’s bank may be involved and they required the victim’s help to rectify the situation.
The caller stated that he required the victim to attend the bank and withdraw £9,200 in cash in the hope that there would be some of the counterfeit money in the cash bundle.
He persuaded her to withdraw the cash from her bank under the guise that she was using it to buy a car. The victim reluctantly agreed, withdrew the money and returned home.
The victim was then told that a male Police Officer would attend her home address and to collect the money using the password ‘MOORE’.
A man attended, provided the password and the victim handed over the money.
The caller reassured the victim and said that he would attend her home address to update her. When he didn’t show up, she contacted North Yorkshire Police to enquire where he was when it became apparent that she has become a victim of fraud.
Investigations are ongoing and the victim is being supported by officers.
Detective Inspector Jon Hodgeon, Head of North Yorkshire Police’s Major Fraud and Economic Crime Unit said:
“These heartless fraudsters typically prey on the elderly and pretend to be police officers to gain their victims’ trust.
“Please remember that the police or your bank will never ask you to withdraw or transfer money from your bank account to aid an investigation.
“Please be extra cautious if you receive a call of this nature and never give out or confirm personal or financial information to anyone over the phone.
“If you have any suspicions at all do not engage in conversation and please hang up the phone. They will try to cause panic and fear to get you to collect money for them.
“If you believe you have been a victim of this type of crime, call us on 101 or report it to Action Fraud by visiting actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. In an emergency dial 999.
“If you have any information regarding those responsible for such crimes, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
More advice on how to protect yourself and your family from fraudsters can be found by visiting northyorkshire.police.uk/fraud or following the Take Five North Yorkshire hashtag (#TFNY) on Facebook and Twitter.
Reference: 12180060776Last modified: October 16, 2018