Elderly woman conned out of £12,000 in 'despicable' fake police scam in Wigan

25 March 2021, 09:55

A conwoman dressed in a fake police uniform stole £12,000 cash from the pensioner
A conwoman dressed in a fake police uniform stole £12,000 cash from the pensioner. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Con artists posing as police and bank workers tricked a vulnerable pensioner into handing over £12,000 cash in a scheme labelled "despicable" by officers.

A woman in her 80s was called on Monday by a man claiming to be a police officer, who asked her to withdraw £5,000 cash as part of an investigation into her husband's bank account.

The man told her it would later be collected from her home in Wigan, Greater Manchester.

Agreeing to the request, the woman withdrew £5,000 and was later called by a person claiming to be from her bank, who told her she would get her money back and asked her to gather any remaining money she had in her home.

Later that afternoon a woman dressed as a police officer, claiming to be a courier, took £12,000 from the victim.

The pensioner handed over £12,000 cash to the conwoman at her home in Wigan
The pensioner handed over £12,000 cash to the conwoman at her home in Wigan. Picture: Google

Police were called to the pensioner's house the next day and were outraged after being told about the incident.

PC Sharpe, of Greater Manchester Police's Wigan district, said: “Preying on vulnerable members of society is despicable and we’re doing all we can to ensure those responsible are identified.

“We’re appealing to anyone in the area who also may have fallen victim to a similar offence to get in touch with police. In addition, if you think you recognise the description of the woman or witnessed any suspicious activity in your area, please come forward and speak with us.

“I would also urge members of the community to remain vigilant to this type of activity. It’s important to always be suspicious of phone calls, texts or emails which come out of the blue asking for personal and financial details or asking you to withdraw money regardless of who they claim to represent.

“If you receive a call that raises your suspicions hang up and phone the police non-emergency number 101 on a different phone, or allow at least five minutes for the line to clear.”

Officers have asked anybody with information to contact them on 0161 856 7124 quoting incident 810 of 23/02/21.

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