DETECTIVES are appealing for information after a male in his 70s fell victim to a fraud in the Rossendale area.
Police are linking it to similar thefts in the same area on Sunday 28 September 2014 and another recent theft in the Oswaldwistle area.
The offenders contact victims purporting to be police officers and inform them that their bank details or bank cards have been compromised. They persuade the victims to transfer money into a “safe” account controlled by the police, later attending their address to “seize” the victim’s bank cards. The offenders then withdraw money from the victims’ bank accounts.
On some occasions the victims have been told to call the “officers” back on 101, but the tricksters do not hang up, and when the victim redials they are still connected to the offenders, believing they themselves have called the police.
The “bogus officers” are described as smartly dressed men of Asian heritage in their early 20s.
DS Charlie Haynes from East Lancashire CID said: “These thieves are varying their methods to ultimately gain confidence in the victims who are all elderly. The impact that this type of crime has the victim is devastating to them, not only financially but also emotionally. It destroys their confidence and self-esteem, making them even more vulnerable. These are truly vile and despicable offences.
“The victims have put their trust in people who they believed were plain clothed police officers, and this trust has been violated, leading to the theft of large sums of money.
“I would like to remind the public that no police officer or other official body will ever ask for your bank details or your PIN number; nor would they ever ask you to withdraw or transfer funds.
“If you have any information which may lead to the capture of these offenders or suspect you may have fallen victim of their deception please contact the police immediately by dialling 101. Always ensure you can hear a dialling tone before you make any calls and check the identification thoroughly of anybody you allow into your home.”
Anybody with any information can contact DS Haynes at Lancashire’s East CID on 01282 472518.
Alternatively Crimestoppers can be called anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org.