Blackmore pensioners tricked into buying Rolex in elaborate scam
- Credit: Archant
Pensioners conned out of thousands purchased a Rolex watch as part of an elaborate scam.
The victims, a Blackmore couple in their 70s, were tricked out of more than £24,000 by telephone fraudsters posing as police detectives, getting the couple to buy a Rolex watch worth £11,250 at the Intu Lakeside shopping centre in Grays.
The couple were duped into thinking that they were helping with a police investigation after callers claiming to be DC Charlie Mitchell and DC Rachel Letchford said that their bank accounts had been accessed as part of a scam and they needed help with a major fraud being carried out at a bank.
The couple bought the watch with a bank card and withdrew money from three bank accounts as part of an “investigation”, handing over a further £12,700 in cash with the Rolex to couriers sent to their home on three separate occasions.
The watch had been picked out earlier in the day by a scammer, with the shop leaving it aside for the couple to collect and pay for later while posing as parents buying a wedding gift for their son.
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The shop manager even congratulated the pair and gave them a bottle of champagne.
The fake detectives also asked them to send over their bank cards and PIN numbers so that they could be “destroyed”.
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A further £600 was then taken from one of their accounts, with their bank calling the next day after they became suspicious of the withdrawal.
One of the victims said: “We were brought up in the old-fashioned way to respect the police and we thought we were helping them, but all the time they [the fraudsters] were the evil ones and they were tricking us.
“People will probably wonder how on earth we fell for these tricks but they are very good at what they do and were very convincing.”
Despite investigating similar incidents since February last year, Essex Police believe the couple are the first to be asked to go out and buy valuable items.
DCI Paul Maleary said: “This type of crime is heart-breaking and it defies belief the lengths these criminal will go to.”
Police want to speak to two couriers – one is described as in his late teens or early 20s, of slim build and about 5ft 6in tall. The other is described as in his late 20s, of medium build and about 5ft 10in tall. Both are described as Asian.
Anyone with information should call Pc Dawn Shearing or DS Eileen Mullins at Loughton CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.