‘Remain vigilant’: Men from Barking and Dagenham, Ilford and West Ham arrested on suspicion of fraud after elderly targeted
PUBLISHED: 17:13 24 April 2020 | UPDATED: 17:13 24 April 2020
PA Wire/PA Images
Six men have been arrested after fraudsters claiming to be from Barclays Bank targeted pensioners.
Victims aged in their 70s to 90s have been phoned by scammers pretending to be from the high street lender saying a courier needs to go to their house to swap old bank cards for new ones.
Two 23-year-old men from Barking and Dagenham, a 25-year-old man from West Ham and an 18-year-old man from Croydon were arrested on Tuesday, April 14 on suspicion of committing fraud by false representation.
They were released on bail until Monday, May 5 while police continue their enquiries.
However, two of those men – the 25-year-old from West Ham and 23-year-old from Dagenham – were re-arrested on Thursday, April 23.
Both men remain in custody for questioning alongside two 22-year-old men from Ilford and Walthamstow.
All of the men are being detained on suspicion of fraud by false representation following two further cons in which women aged in their 90s were targeted in Frinton and Kirby Cross.
Essex Police has said its officers are investigating offences in Colchester, Brightlingsea, Tiptree and Kelvedon.
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Detectives are looking at whether similar crimes in south Essex and Suffolk might also be connected. All the cons have been carried out in the last two months.
Det Cons Hollie Hughes said: “Fraudsters will take advantage of any situation and will be very persuasive, so I ask people to please remain vigilant.
“We are continuing to carry out enquiries into these incidents and ask anyone with information to contact us.”
Banks will never ask you send your bank cards, money or other personal property, via a courier, taxi or other means.
They will also never ask for your bank account details or PIN over the phone, so these should not be given.
Challenge anyone who asks you for this information because a genuine caller should not mind.
If you are suspicious the caller is not genuine, end the phone call then wait at least five minutes to ring your bank to check with them the validity of the call, or use another phone, as fraudsters can wait on the line.
Det Cons Hughes said: “Report any suspicious calls to us so we can investigate.”
Call 101 or report online at essex.police.uk or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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