Romford pensioner thwarts police-impersonating conman

12:40 04 September 2014

Scam victim David Wheeler

Scam victim David Wheeler


Police are warning the elderly to be vigilant after a Romford pensioner thwarted a police-impersonating fraudster from conning him out of his savings.

A man claiming to be a constable from Hammersmith police’s fraud squad telephoned David Wheeler, 79, of Hood Walk, last Tuesday at around 10pm and told him he was a fraud victim.

The police impersonator then tricked the man into handing over his bankcard details and his Pin number for the criminal investigation. He then advised him a courier would collect the card within the hour.

Retired engraver Mr Wheeler said: “I don’t know how I was so stupid but he was just so convincing.

“I’m of the age where I was brought up to trust the police and I fell for it.”

But the victim thought twice and began to feel uneasy that he handed over sensitive information and called his son-in-law who advised him to contact the police urgently.

Fortunately, the man’s quick actions prevent anything being stolen from him as the “courier” did not turn up.

It is possible that the fraudster kept the phone line open and listened into the pensioner’s subsequent calls and called the scam off.

Det Con Lynsey Broom, of Havering’s violent crime unit, is warning vulnerable residents to be wary of such “courier fraud”.

She said: “We are warning residents to be cautious regarding any callers who claim to be police officers - or indeed any other figures of authority. Note that genuine police would not ask for bank details or send a courier to your address to collect a card.

“Police officers who knock on your door would produce ID wallets which carry not only the MPS crest, but also a photo of the officer - and if you have any cause for concern do not allow callers into your home.”

Anyone who may have experienced similar incidents should contact the violent crime unit on 01708 779 246 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Read more:

Havering Police warn: Don’t become a victim of courier fraud

CCTV footage: Three men rob pensioner in Romford

Hornchurch catalytic converter thefts ground Age Concern Havering’s minibuses - again

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 17:15
Fly-tipping in Little Gerpins Lane

Fly-tippers blocked Little Gerpins Lane, in Upminster, with rubbish, just one minute away from Gerpins Lane Reuse and Recycling Centre.

Yesterday, 16:31
Police are appealing for information

A terrifying late-night attack left two teenagers in hospital after they were hit by a car and then assaulted by three men who got out of it.

Yesterday, 16:17
View of London City Airport from the sky Picture: Andrew Holt

Campaign groups have expressed their opposition to the decision to allow a 30per cent increase in planes to fly over parts of Havering.

Yesterday, 15:46
Elm Park Merry Minon Christmas celebration. Elexis Woodhall, seven with minons

Minions worked to ensure festive fun was had by all in Elm Park on Friday.

Yesterday, 15:19
The Rubettes Featuring Alan Williams

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as the nights get darker, gifts are being bought and the radio is full of classic hits.

Yesterday, 13:14
Scargill Infant School pupils with K-9 staff

Animal-loving youngsters were taught how to look after their pets when a dog rescue charity visited their school.

Yesterday, 13:02
Junior doctors have voted in favour of strike action (Pic:PA)

Junior doctors voted in favour of strike action over contract changes proposed by the Health Secretary.

Yesterday, 07:00
Queen's Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford

Medical staff working in Havering and Redbridge were the victims of more than 400 physical assaults over the past 12 months.

Most read news

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.


Nike Trainers

Nike’s motto is ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’ With this in mind it’s no surprise why Nike is the preferred training gear for most A-list athletes. Get an extra boost in your run or height in your jump with £500 to spend on Nike trainers.

MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Digital Edition

Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder