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Efit and warning issued after York man conned out of £6,800

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Police in York have issued an efit in an effort to identify a bogus caller who conned a man in his sixties out of £6,800.

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Anyone who recognises the man from the image is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police immediately. Officers are also advising residents to be on their guard if anyone calls at their door, and to not hand over any cash to anyone who calls unannounced.

In this case, the suspect called at the victim’s York home at the beginning of May 2016 and told him that he was due a refund on some solar panels. He told him that to obtain the refund he had to pay cash up front.

The suspect and some accomplices followed the victim to the bank in a white van while he withdrew £3,500. The money was handed over to the suspect who told the victim that he would get his refund cheque the following day.

The suspect then returned the next day with another man but told him that he was entitled to a bigger refund, but had to pay more money up front. Again the victim travelled to the bank, this time with one of the suspects as a front seat passenger in his car.

The victim withdrew all the money he had left and handed it over. He was told that someone would be waiting at his home with the refund, however when he arrived, there was no-one there and he was later told in a phone call that his refund cheque would be delayed for over a week.

At this point the victim called the police.

Detective Constable Tracey Pearson of York Investigation Hub, said: “This was a cruel and cowardly crime aimed at a vulnerable man who trusted the suspects. Their actions are beneath contempt and it is vital that we stop them from taking advantage of anyone else.

“I urge anyone who recognises the suspect from the efit to get in touch. I also appeal to friends, neighbours and relatives of older and vulnerable people to reassure them that they should not be afraid to say no to cold callers. If you are in any doubt about who is calling at your home, don’t open the door. If you feel threatened or see a crime in progress, always call 999.”

Anyone who can help identify the suspect is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for York Investigation Hub.

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Please quote 12160078872 when passing on information.

26 May 2016

Last modified: June 15, 2016