Scam card thieves steal £57,500 from Barking and Dagenham elderly people

Card scam thieves posing as police have stolen £57,500 from elderly Barking and Dagenham residents since January.

Police have received 74 reports of people being targeted by phone. About two thirds spotted it was a scam and hung up, but some were conned out of large amounts of money.

As reported in the Post on May 1, one 77-year-old woman in Barking lost £7,000 after being scammed twice.

The fraud usually involves a person calling the victim pretending to be a police officer and saying that they have arrested someone with a copy of their bank card.

They then tell the victim that they need the original card to be able to cancel it and send a courier to collect the card.

Police have set up a specialist unit to catch the criminals and are spreading awareness of the scam among elderly people and their families.

Det Insp Andy Petty said: “We are now seeing evidence that the message is getting out there. One man who received a call from these criminals was asked to call the police by the caller.

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“Knowing that the suspects stay on the line and pretend to be the police, he hung up, but instead of calling from his own phone, went next door to his neighbour in order to make the call.”

He said police and banks never ask for a person’s PIN number so urge people not to give it out to anyone who requests it.