Crooks empty pensioner’s bank account

The lifeboat from Selsey positioning itself alongside the Eridan
The lifeboat from Selsey positioning itself alongside the Eridan

An 85-year-old woman was scammed out of her entire savings account when she was conned by crooks last week - the second time they have targeted her.

The victim, who lives alone and has asked not to be named, was visited at her Hemel Hempstead home on Friday lunchtime by a man claiming to be a Detective Constable Morris from Hammersmith Police Station.

He convinced her that her bank account had been compromised and he needed her help to catch the offenders.

She was told to attend a bank in the town centre and withdraw all her savings. She was then told to place the money into two plastic bags and hand it to a man who was waiting in a taxi.

Her daughter told the Gazette the woman emptied her account of the entire £2,800.

A taxi driver then came to collect the money from her home later that afternoon, and insisted she also pay him all the cash she had in her purse for his journey.

The daughter said: “My mother was one of the victims of the scammers who were in Dacorum in June, when they got her to take several thousand pounds out of a different account.

“My mum is a very active and community-minded person who manages her money brilliantly, but she can be too trusting. As this is the second time this has happened she might be moving back to Berkhamsted now – that’s where her friends and much of her social life are.”

Police are now investigating the incident. A spokesman for Hertfordshire Police said: “The police and banks would:

l Never ask for your bank account details or PIN number over the phone, so do not disclose these to anyone;

l Never ask you to withdraw money and send it to them via a courier, taxi or by any other means;

l Never ask you to send bank cards, or other personal property, to them via courier, taxi or by any other means;

l Never ask you to transfer money from your account to another over the telephone.

“If you are not happy with a phone call and are suspicious of the conversation, then please end the call and contact police via the non-emergency number, 101. Remember, when reporting a suspicious phone call to police, wait at least five minutes before attempting to make the call or use a mobile or neighbour’s phone to ensure you’re not reconnected to the offender.”