A bogus police officer conned thousands of pounds from two Brighton pensioners, Sussex Police said this afternoon (Monday 18 December).
The force said: “Police are warning about bogus police officers who have scammed two residents in Brighton out of thousands of pounds.
“The fraudsters have called two elderly victims who have had building work carried out at their properties earlier this year, purporting to be police officers from the Metropolitan Police.
“They have told the victims that the builders are bogus and have been arrested and charged and are now in court.
“Both were told by the callers at their homes that they needed to transfer large sums of money for court costs and compensation to a bank account and they would be refunded in time.
“They have been warned not to talk about this.
“One victim, a 72-year-old woman, transferred the £6,000 over the phone on Friday (15 December) while the other, a man aged 74, withdraw more than £3,000 cash and an ‘officer’ called at his home to collect the money on Thursday (14 December).
“He was then contacted again and went to his bank to withdraw more cash.
“However, bank staff became suspicious and contacted police.
“The suspect at the woman’s home was a white man aged in his thirties, 6ft, with a long oval-shaped face and light brown hair.
“He work dark trousers and a black zipped jacket, work boots and provided a badge in a wallet with Metropolitan Police written on the inside.”
Detective Sergeant Helen Paine said: “The police would never contact people and ask them to withdraw or hand over cash to officers.
“The people carrying out these frauds are deliberately targeting those they think are vulnerable so please do look out for your friends, family and anyone you feel may be at risk by passing out this message to help prevent further people falling victim to this type of fraud.
“If ever you doubt a telephone caller is genuine, simply hang up the phone.
“If speaking to callers at the door, always ask for ID and satisfy yourself that it is genuine before dealing with that person.
“We want to hear from you if you have received similar calls to these mentioned above or have any information which could help our investigation.
“You can contact police online or by calling us on 101 quoting Operation Signature.”