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Fake police officer preys on elderly woman who is defrauded out of £8,000

PUBLISHED: 15:50 30 November 2017 | UPDATED: 18:16 30 November 2017

Police have issued a warning to be extra vigilant when answering calls from strangers. Picture shows a woman on the phone. Photo: PA/David Cheskin

Police have issued a warning to be extra vigilant when answering calls from strangers. Picture shows a woman on the phone. Photo: PA/David Cheskin

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An elderly woman was defrauded out of £8,000 by a man pretending to be a police officer.

An elderly woman was defrauded out of £8,000 by a man pretending to be a police officer.

Norfolk Constabulary have now issued a warning after another woman was also targeted by a fake officer.

Police have urged people to be extra vigilant following the two incidents in as many days in the Great Yarmouth area.

On Tuesday, a Gorleston woman in her 80s was caught out by a scammer who claimed to be from Hammersmith Police Station in London.

The fake officer told the pensioner to withdraw a large sum of cash before arranging to meet with her to take the money.

Police are now investigating after a similar incident in where a Winterton woman in her 40s answered another call from someone claiming to be from Hammersmith Police Station.

MORE: Cold calling scammers continue to prey on the elderly and vulnerable

She immediately hung up and then called the Metropolitan Police in London who passed the issue on to Norfolk Police.

Insp Paul McCarthy from Norfolk Police urged for residents to be vigilant to this scam.

He said: “We’re urging members of the public, particularly the elderly who are primarily being targeted, to be vigilant to cold calls made on the telephone.

“Genuine police officers or staff would never approach residents and ask for cash withdrawals to be made or for people to purchase items on their behalf.

“I would ask people with vulnerable relatives, friends or neighbours to make sure they are aware of this type of scam.”

Similar incidents have been reported throughout the county earlier in the year and involved suspects calling vulnerable residents claiming to be officers.

It has been known for suspects to request cash is posted or for residents to purchase high value goods, and to then meet the people purporting to be officers to hand over the goods.

Organisations like Action Fraud offer victims of fraud a place to go to in order to report crime and get advice and support.

A spokesman for the charity said: “Our partnership with the charity Victim Support is central to this commitment and this is why everyone who reports a fraud to us has the option to receive support from the charity after.”

Anyone with concerns about such calls should contact Norfolk Police on the non-emergency number 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress. Or call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

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