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Fraudsters con 81-year-old Kentish Town woman out of £1,300

PUBLISHED: 18:47 18 September 2017 | UPDATED: 18:51 18 September 2017

Police have issued the images of two men they want to trace after an elderly woman’s debit card was fraudulently obtained and used. Picture: MET POLICE

Police have issued the images of two men they want to trace after an elderly woman’s debit card was fraudulently obtained and used. Picture: MET POLICE

Archant

A pair of fraudsters pretending to work for the police have tricked an 81-year-old woman into giving them £1,300.

At 7pm on March 5 the woman, who asked not be named, was telephoned at her Kentish Town home by a man pretending to be a detective from Wood Green police station.

The man, who introduced himself as DCI Alex Watts, told the victim a courier was on his way to collect her bank cards after two people had been arrested for cloning them.

The swindler then got hold of the woman’s PIN number after asking her to enter it into her phone.

Soon afterwards a second man arrived at her address and left after the woman handed the cards over in a sealed envelope.

But the bogus officer stayed on the line asking her to read out the serial numbers of cash she also kept in the house.

He convinced her the money was fake, telling her each serial number lacked a digit, and promised to swap the counterfeit for genuine notes.

The woman became suspicious after handing the money over to the same courier.

She alerted her neighbours after a call to Wood Green police station led to the discovery there was no DCI Alex Watts.

The courier who attended on both occasions is described as a male of Asian appearance, aged between 20 and 30, wearing dark clothing including a scarf over the lower part of his face.

As part of an appeal launched today detectives released images of two men who used the woman’s card to withdraw money from a cashpoint in Queens Crescent, Kentish Town.

Detective Constable Becky Smith said: “Officers will never phone and ask you to disclose information such as bank card details and PIN numbers or arrange couriers to come and pick up items.

“If you are called by someone masquerading as a police officer, take their details, hang up and call the police on 101 to check their credibility.”

Anyone who recognises the men or with information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact Islington CID on 020 8345 0275. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

For advice on fraud protection visit the Met’s fraud web page.

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