Chigwell man conned out of £30,000 in bogus police scam

Efit of the courier who collected the cash. Picture: Essex Police

Efit of the courier who collected the cash. Picture: Essex Police - Credit: Archant

A man in his 60s was conned out of thousands after a fraudster posed as a police officer.

The victim, from Chigwell, handed over £30,000 on September 30 after he received a phone call from a man claiming to be police.

The caller claimed that criminals had infiltrated his bank account and had deposited £30,000 in counterfeit cash.

The bogus police officer then asked the victim to withdraw £30,000 from the bank account so that the notes could be forensically examined.

The victim was asked by the ‘police officer’ to call his bank to check if money had been deposited into the account - however, his call with the fake officer had been kept open and another fraudster posing as a bank employee answered and confirmed that money had been deposited.

The victim was called by the fake officer again and was asked to withdraw £15,000 from two separate bank branches in £20 and £50 notes - as he claimed those were the easiest to fake.

A courier was then sent to collect the money from the victim, but was sent away after the victim felt uncomfortable handing over the cash.

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The victim then received a call from the fake officer who warned him that he would be arrested for impeding a police investigation if he didn’t hand over the cash.

The courier returned and the victim handed over the cash - the largest amount taken in a recent spate of similar incidents.

Police are appealing to anyone who may have information about the fraudster and the courier involved and have released an efit image of the courier.

DCI Paul Maleary said: “These criminals have become abusive in the past but this is the first time they have forced the victim to comply with their demands by making an arrest threat.”

He added: “This is one of the highest amounts taken and shows just how convincing these thieves can be. They are professional criminals and are absolutely ruthless.”

Police are reminding people that banks and police would never ask for bank account details, ask you to withdraw money and send it to them or ask you to send them your bank cards or personal property.

People receiving calls of this nature are urged to put the phone down and call the police.

Anyone who can identify the man in the efit should contact PC Danielle Brennan at Loughton on 101.

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