A 75-year-old woman in Ipswich targeted in a fraud scam by a man posing as a police officer was tricked into handing over thousands of pounds to conmen, police have said.

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Suffolk Constabulary officers yesterday foiled the plan to defraud the victim, of west Ipswich, when acting on a tip-off and stopping a taxi on the M25 heading to London with the £2,000 cash.

Officers reunited the woman with the money she had withdrawn and passed over to the conmen. One of them impersonated a policeman and claimed to be investigating a fraud incident on her bank account.

Suffolk Constabulary community safety manager Alan Osborne said: “These are despicable crimes where these conmen are targeting elderly, vulnerable people who receive a call from someone they believe to be genuine.

“Your bank, building society or a police officer will never make a call such as this and will never ask for your bank details or ask you to withdraw money.”

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “An elderly lady has had £2,000 returned after a scam was disrupted by police yesterday.

“A 75-year-old woman from west Ipswich was contacted at around 11.50am from a man claiming he was a police officer who was investigating a fraud incident on her bank account.

“The woman was told that in order for the case to be in investigated she needed to withdraw £4,000 from her bank account and a taxi driver would collect the money later that day to be taken to the police.

“The victim said she was unable to withdraw that amount of money but could manage £2,000.

“Throughout the conversation the woman was told by the ‘police officer’ that if she had any concerns she should hang up and call the local police on 101 to confirm the details were correct.

“It would appear that the offender didn’t hang up, leaving the line open.

“When the woman made the clarification call she spoke to another ‘conman’ who confirmed that the call was genuine.

“Officers became aware of the scam when a local taxi company contacted Suffolk Constabulary stating that they had been asked to collect a package and take it to London.

“The victim, who had been told throughout by the fake police officer not to divulge any information, had told the taxi driver that the money was for her son.

“The taxi was stopped on the M25 prior to its destination with the driver being made aware that this was indeed part of a scam.

“While a Suffolk police officer visited the lady’s house to take a statement, the officer answered a call that came in from the conmen; when he realised he had been found out he became abusive to the officer and threatened that he would continue to carry out scams like this because he would never be found out.”

Mr Osborne added: “I cannot stress enough the importance that word spreads about this type of crime.

“Please if you know someone elderly spread the word, tell them about this scam and the importance, no matter how convincing the person is, not to give out bank details or agree to withdraw any money and pass it to a courier or taxi driver.”

Last week an Ipswich woman was conned out of more than £6,000 in a fake police scam.

And a similar case was reporterd earlier this month.

4 comments

  • I look forward to reading about this M25 scammer being charged. Please tell me they were arrested and charged. Only rank amateurs would NOT have made an arrest in this case, surely?

    Report this comment

    Supernova6

    Thursday, December 19, 2013

  • Cmon Ipswich Star, name the taxi company! Ipswich to London is a nice fare... but reporting this was the right thing to do! Why the person didn't get the train is beyond me! There is CCTV but who is suspecting you of anything?! Glad he got caught.

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • John the bap - if you 'read' the story above the taxi picked up a package! Maybe read before you make comments about anything just for the sake of moaning about the police. Do you honestly believe the officer from whichever force it was would not have arrested the conmen red handed?

    Report this comment

    stopthisnow

    Thursday, December 19, 2013

  • This puzzles me; no mention is made of the arrest of any criminals so I assume the police (using an unmarked vehicle) did not follow the taxi to its destination or substitute a police officer for the taxi driver so as to arrest the conmen. Surely this was the obvious thing to do! I am not entirely surprised that the conman boasted he cannot be caught.

    Report this comment

    Johnthebap

    Thursday, December 19, 2013

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