Elderly woman scammed out of £7k in Hailsham

Police Car / Incident Stock Pic (Pic by Jon Rigby)
Police Car / Incident Stock Pic (Pic by Jon Rigby)

An elderly woman from Hailsham has been scammed out of £7,000 by someone claiming to be a police officer from London, police have said.

Police said the 86-year-old was contacted by telephone by a conman who said he was a police officer and convinced her that her bank account had been compromised.

She was asked to remove £7,000 from her account and give it to a courier who would attend her home.

Police said she was then asked to ring the bank but the scammer kept the phone line open so they could pretend to be her bank as well.

She went to the bank and withdrew the money on Wednesday (February 5), police said.

Detective Chief Inspector Ali Eaton, from the Surrey and Sussex Specialist Crime Command, warned people not to give out their bank details over the phone.

She said: “Under no circumstances would the police or your bank request your PIN number over the telephone or arrange collection of your bank cards from your home address in this manner.

“I advise all members of the public to never give out your bank details to someone who has contacted you on your home phone unsolicited.

“If you have any suspicions please do not use the phone you have just been called on to contact the police or your bank.

“If possible use another phone to contact the police to report it, or to contact a friend or relative to alert them.”

DCI Eaton also urged people to pass on the information about this crime to other people and make them aware of the crime so that they do not also fall victim to fraudsters.

She continued: “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 targeted fraud, to prevent any vulnerable friends or family members from becoming victims.”

If you have any information, whether you have received similar calls or know someone who has been a victim of this crime, Sussex Police is asking that you contact them.

You can contact Sussex Police by ringing the force’s non-emergency telephone number on 101 quoting Operation Edisto or email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk.

You can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.