Retired justice of the peace gives phone scammer targeting 92-year-old woman an earbashing

Ron Jeffries, 80

Ron Jeffries, 80 - Credit: Archant

Fraudsters attempting to raid a 92-year-old woman’s bank account got a surprise when they were subjected to an earful by a retired justice of the peace.

Ron Jeffries, 80, was contacted by his friend when she became concerned after a phone call from a man claiming to be from Bethnal Green police station.

The caller said her twin grandchildren had been arrested and had taken money out of her account and she should call her bank to check.

She became suspicious as she does not have any grandchildren and called her friend Mr Jeffries, of Spearpoint Gardens, Newbury Park, for assistance.

Mr Jeffries said: “It’s happening all over Ilford. Police said the scam is now rife.

“While they were here they got called to Clayhall where it was happening to another person.”

The victim, who does not want to be named, was at home when the fake officer called and said she needed to call her bank immediately.

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Mr Jeffries said: “She went to find her bank details, however, there was no dialling tone which made her think her line had broken again.”

Instead she used her mobile to call her bank. It was then she became suspicious and called Mr Jeffries.

He said: “I realised something was wrong and immediately went to her home, which is within walking distance. The caller said that he could not speak to me, but had to speak to the victim.”

It was then that Mr Jeffries became annoyed. “At this point I realised that this was a scam and decided to do something I very rarely – if ever – do... I said that I am a JP,” Mr Jeffries added.

“I told the so-called Pc that I did not believe he was with the police and would be dialling 999 immediately.”

Police are investigating.

Mr Jeffries called the police who gave the shoulder numbers of two police officers who visited the property within 30 minutes.

No arrests have been made.