Search

Romford pensioner thwarts police-impersonating conman

12:40 04 September 2014

Scam victim David Wheeler

Scam victim David Wheeler

Archant

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, 17:01
Police want to speak to this man

Detectives want to speak to this man over a baseball bat robbery that left a 56-year-old with serious head injuries – and the theft of the CCTV footage the next day.

Yesterday, 16:00
The victim looks stunned

A man has been charged with robbery following a lunchtime attack in Hornchurch town centre on Saturday.

Yesterday, 14:30
Chandlers Way, Romford. Picturee: Google Street View

A man was punched in the face before he was robbed by a group of three men.

Yesterday, 13:29
PCSO Rian Black with Yeah eight students, Chanel Moran, 12, Sadie French, 12,  and Mogan Fallon, 12 in Food technology class run by Mr Dennis

Studious police officers swapped their truncheons for text books when they traded places with school pupils for a day.

Most read news

WW100

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

News from your area

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder

New research finds that men are more partial to a posed self-portrait than women.

Did you feel the Earth move?

The drug is already on offer to patients in 21 other countries, including France and Germany.

Little chihuahua Digby has become best friends with a Neapolitan mastiff.