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Fake cop conned pensioner into handing over £53,000 worth of Rolex watches

PUBLISHED: 10:22 27 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:24 27 September 2017

Archant

Police are now warning others of a potential scam hitting the county

What is courier fraud?

Courier frauds usually start with a criminal calling your home and pretending to be a police officer.

In reported cases, they have then claimed your account is being used to pay for goods you did not order.

They also normally tell you that your bank is in on the scam and is harbouring counterfeit money, and they need your help to investigate.

You will then be asked to withdraw the cash from your account so it can be used as evidence, with arrangements made for a courier to come and collect it from you.

Variations on the scam involve people claiming to be from Trading Standards, your local bank or other organisations in a position of trust.

A con artist is thought to have tricked an elderly woman out of £53,000 this month by posing as a police officer.

When the suspect contacted their victim, she was told to buy two Rolex watches from Bluewater shopping centre in Greenhithe and hand them to a waiting courier.

The victim was led to believe she was helping with a police investigation, but was in fact the victim of fraud.

Police are now investigating the incident, and warning others how to look out for potential courier scams.

Kent and Essex Crime Directorate are reviewing a number of similar frauds in recent months where elderly victims have handed over cash after being tricked into thinking they are helping with a police investigation.

Detective inspector Annie Clayton said: “Offenders who engage in courier fraud prey on the most vulnerable members of society.

“We are currently conducting enquiries into this incident and others but would like to remind people how to spot a fraudulent phone call.

“Police officers will never request your bank details or ask you to withdraw money for any reason. We will also never ask you to transfer money, purchase goods on our behalf or send someone to your home to collect your cash, PIN, payment card or cheque book.

“If you are given any of these instructions, it is a fraudulent approach. Hang up, wait five minutes to clear the line or use a different phone and then call your bank or card issuer on their advertised numbers to report the fraud.”

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