Warning after cruel fraudsters persuade two people in the Lutterworth area to hand over thousands of pounds - here is what to look out for
Two people from the Lutterworth area have been fleeced out of thousands of pounds by cruel courier fraudsters.
A man in his 40s and a woman in her 80s are devastated after being targeted by the conmen.
Police have now issued an urgent new warning urging people throughout the district and across the entire county to be extra vigilant.
The two latest local victims have been hit as over 40 suspects were arrested in a huge police crackdown on courier fraud gangs across England and Wales on Wednesday (Feb 5).
Police said over 3,000 people, many of them elderly, from all over the UK have been duped into withdrawing large sums of cash and handing it to someone posing as a courier or police officer.
A Lutterworth pensioner in her 80s was contacted on Monday (Feb 3) by someone claiming he was a police officer from a station in London, Leicestershire Police said.
The victim was told her bank card had been cloned.
She was told to visit a jeweller’s in Leicester and buy a “high value watch” using her card.
The unsuspecting woman bought the watch and returned home where the timepiece was later collected by the offenders.
The distraught OAP alerted police as soon as she realised to her horror that she had been swindled.
A man in his 40s, also from the Lutterworth area, was targeted on Friday January 31, police said.
He was also contacted by someone claiming to be a police officer.
The victim was told to withdraw cash from his account – and the money was then picked up from his home.
Later that day he was contacted again and also urged to go to a local jeweller’s to buy a watch.
The suspect told the victim they were carrying out surveillance of the shop for counterfeit offences and his assistance would help.
The victim then became suspicious, promptly ended the call and rang police.
Paul Wenlock, of Leicestershire Police economic crime unit, said: “In the majority of cases we know elderly and vulnerable people are being targeted by these scammers.
“They sound plausible and victims do get taken in by what they are being told.
“A number of warnings have been issued about these crimes in the last few months.
“But we know not everyone accesses social media or the internet.
“So we are asking the public to help us by informing their neighbours or relatives about these offences.”
He added: “They should be advised that police officers would never contact them in this way.
“If they are called they should disconnect the call straightaway and report the incident to the police using another telephone, as on some occasions calls can remain connected.
“Further advice about these offences can be found on https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/a-z-of-fraud/courier-fraud”