Warning after police officer phone scam sees woman hand over £12,500

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Police are warning residents to be alert to callers pretending to be police officers, after an 85-year-old handed over £12,500 to scammers.

The woman, who lives near Chichester, received a call from a man claiming to be from the Metropolitan Police fraud squad on Wednesday, May 3, shortly after 8am, a police spokesperson said.

He told her that her bank card had been copied and she needed to withdraw £5,000, the spokesperson said.

She went to her bank, withdrew the cash and handed it to a courier who arrived at her house during the afternoon, according to the spokesperson.

The man then phoned her back on Friday (May 5) and asked her to withdraw £7,500 and again hand it to a courier, which she did, said the spokesperson.

On Sunday (May 7) she received another call, however felt suspicious and told a friend who reported it to police, the spokesperson confirmed.

Detective sergeant Graham Leaney said: “We want to raise awareness of this scam and would urge people to be vigilant.

“The police would never make calls like this and would never ask for you to withdraw money from an account.

“Under no circumstances should you withdraw money and hand it over to a courier, if you do receive a call like this please report it immediately.

“I urge anyone reading or hearing this message to pass it on to any friends and relatives who may not be aware of this particular type of fraud, to prevent any vulnerable friends or family members from becoming victims.

“We want to encourage everyone to continue to resist these callers, so if you have any information, whether you have received similar calls or know someone who has been a victim of this crime, contact police online https://sussex.police.uk/contact-us/response-to-appeal/ or email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk quoting Operation Edisto.”

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