Pensioner from Barking conned out of £7,000 by bogus policeman
PUBLISHED: 11:53 01 May 2013 | UPDATED: 09:16 02 May 2013
A vulnerable pensioner is shaken, frightened and unable to trust strangers after being conned out of thousands of pounds for the second time.
Thieves stole a total of £7,000 from the 77-year-old’s bank account in a card scam that has targeted about 50 elderly people in Barking and Dagenham since January.
Her bank has refunded the cash but the woman, who was conned in March and again last week, said: “I’m in such a state at the moment. I get tears in my eyes every time I think about it.”
The woman, who lives in sheltered accommodation in Barking and wants to remain anonymous, was first conned on March 24.
“Someone called and said they were from Bethnal Green police station,” she explained. “He said that they had caught two people who were using a copy of my bank card.
“He said he needed my PIN, which I foolishly gave him, and the original card so it could be cancelled.”
The fraudster sent a courier to her home and she handed over her card.
“It wasn’t until the police came to my home later that I found out that I had been conned and they had taken money out of my account,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Last week the scammers called again, this time at 1am. “They told me they were police and were investigating the scam. When they said they needed my other card, I thought: ‘No, I’m not going to be fooled again’, but they somehow convinced me and said if I didn’t do it then I wouldn’t get my money back.”
Once again a large amount of cash was taken out of her account before the card was cancelled.
“These people are nasty,” the woman added. “How can they do such a horrible thing to pensioners? I hope they are caught soon.”
Tips from police
If someone saying they are from the police gives you a phone number, claiming it is for your bank, do not call it. The scammers have been giving out their own phone numbers so the victim believes they are talking to someone from the bank.
Police or banks will NEVER ask for your PIN number so do not give it out to anyone who claims they work for either.
If you believe you are being targeted hang up the phone directly, wait five minutes to make sure the line is clear, and then call police on 101.
If you have an elderly relative or neighbour tell them about the scam so they know what to expect.
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