Police are urging householders to be on their guard following further reported incidents of a phone fraud where unsuspecting victims are duped by people posing as police.
Reports of this scam have now been recorded in the South Hams area with four incidents recorded in Paignton yesterday, Thursday, 24 April, with two victims alone having parted with more than £12,000 each.
This follows an incident last week when an elderly man from Paignton was duped out of £12,000 by someone posing to be a police officer from the Metropolitan Police who claimed that someone had been arrested in possession of his bank cards.
An initial incident of this nature was reported in North Devon in March when a Bideford couple were duped out of more than £30,000 by people posing as police.
Someone claiming to be a police officer from the Metropolitan Police phoned the retired couple saying that they had arrested someone in possession of the woman’s bank card.
The bogus officer asked the woman to immediately phone the bank but when the call was made the conman kept the line open, pretended to be the bank and confirmed large-scale fraudulent activity on her account.
He told her that her account was being used fraudulently by bank staff and she should withdraw the cash and send it to him as evidence.
They realised something was wrong when the bogus officers failed to turn up to an agreed appointment at their home. They then reported the offence to Devon and Cornwall Police.
Commented DS Andy Penhaligon: “Given the way that these offences have moved from North Devon into the Torbay area, we are concerned that they may progress throughout the Force area.
“We appeal to members of the public, banks and taxi drivers to be on their guard and report any suspicious activity of this nature to the Police immediately.”