A vigilant taxi driver foiled an attempt to defraud a 78-year-old man from Newmarket of £3,000.
At around 12pm yesterday, the victim received a call from a man pretending to be a police constable from Hammersmith in London. He told the victim that his bank card had been cloned and used to purchase a £7,000 watch.
The caller then informed the victim that his bank in Newmarket was subject to a fraud scam and they required his assistance in setting a trap which involved him withdrawing £3,000 in cash and then handing it over to a courier, who they would send to collect it from his home address.
The victim then challenged the caller and asked how he could verify that this request was not a scam in itself. The caller told him to hang up the phone and dial 999 to speak to his local police station, which he duly did.
He then spoke to someone claiming to be a sergeant at Newmarket police station who stated that the request was genuine. However, the victim was still not satisfied and called the number on the back of his bank card, where again he was told everything was ok.
After making a further call to what he believed was his local police station to confirm one more time this was legitimate, the victim then phoned the original caller back and said he would assist them.
After going into town to withdraw the cash, a taxi arrived at his house at around 1.30pm to collect the money. The victim told the driver that the parcel was to be delivered to an address in London which the driver confirmed.
After leaving the victim’s address, the taxi driver became concerned that this might be a scam and flagged down a passing police car to inform them of his suspicions. The officers confirmed this was indeed a scam attempt and recovered the money, returning it to the victim.
Police believe the offenders leave the telephone line open, so when the victims believe they have hung up to make another call to either the police or their bank, they are in fact still on the line to the criminals who made the original call.
Anyone with information about this crime, or any similar incidents, is asked to contact DC Ian Webb at Bury St Edmunds CID on 101, quoting reference number NE/14/391, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.