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Woman conned out of thousands hours after cancer diagnosis

Warwickshire Police have released this image of a woman they want to talk to in connection with Linda Gibbs being defrauded. Credit: BPM

An elderly woman was conned out of thousands of pounds just hours after being told she had cancer.

Linda Gibbs, from Nuneaton in Warwickshire, died just a few weeks after being targeted by fraudsters.

Her family said the crime put the 70-year-old under "unbearable" stress in the last days of her life and are now appealing for help to track down those responsible.

Mrs Gibbs had been told she had cancer just hours before she received a call at 1:50pm on July 17 this year (2017) the from someone claiming to be from her telephone provider. The caller told her a direct debit payment had failed and asked for her bank details, including her PIN number. They said someone would then pick the bank card up and arrange for the direct debit to be paid.

A woman then came to Mrs Gibbs’ home to collect the card which was the used to make a purchase worth thousands of pounds at a Warwickshire jewellers.

Mrs Gibbs passed away a few weeks later on August 31.

Her family are now appealing for help to find those responsible and Warwickshire Police have released photos of a woman they would like to speak to in connection with the incident. They believe the woman in the photos may be wearing a wig.

Mrs Gibbs’ daughter, Anita Foxley, said:

My mum was very vulnerable after being told she had terminal cancer and to be targeted by these people is unforgivable.

The extra stress this put on her life in her last days was unbearable.

I would really like to see justice served on the woman who came to my mum’s door that day. She not only robbed my mother of her well-earned money, but gave her a very unpleasant experience of worrying in her last few days of life.

– Anita Foxley - Linda Gibbs' daughter

Police Staff Investigator Kevin Knight, of Warwickshire Police, said:

These types of heartless criminals regularly prey on the most vulnerable members of the community and in this case they have targeted someone who had just received the most awful news.

You can only imagine the impact this had on the final weeks of Mrs Gibbs’ life and the anger it continues to cause her family.

We believe the woman in these photos has information that will be vital to our enquiries. Please bear in mind that she might be wearing a wig.

– Kevin Knight - Warwickshire Police