Warning after elderly woman in Sherborne loses thousands of pounds in elaborate scam

Police in Dorset are warning people to warn their elderly relatives about the scam. Credit: PA

An elderly woman from Sherborne has lost £4,000 to a conman after being repeatedly targeted in an elaborate scam.

The woman, who lives in Lenthay Road, received a phone call on Monday 7 December from a man claiming to be a police officer who told her £11,000 had been taken from her account.

He then told her to withdraw money from the bank - which she did. The offender told the woman some of her bank notes were forgeries and said a plain clothes officer needed to collect the cash from her home. She handed over £2,000 later that day.

On Tuesday 8 December, she received another call telling her to withdraw money and she again went to the bank and handed over another £2,000.

The scammers also tried to get her to move £17,500 into an account but her bank stopped the transaction.

On Friday 11 December the bogus police officer phoned her to get her to withdraw £7,000. She went to the bank, who called the police. Officers spoke to her and she realised she had been scammed.

Police would like to hear from anyone who may have seen the man who collected the cash from the woman's home in Lenthay Road between 3pm and 4pm on 7 and 8 December.

He was driving a white van was in his early 20s, of slim build and clean-shaven.

Did you see anything suspicious in Lenthay Road in Sherborne on Monday 7 or Tuesday 8 December? Credit: Google Maps

Det Con Holly Spillman, of Weymouth CID, said: “We are investigating this series of scam calls and I am appealing to anyone who was in the area of Lenthay Road in Sherborne on the afternoon of Monday 7 December or Tuesday 8 December 2020 and witnessed any suspicious activity, the man or vehicle described, to please contact us.“I would also urge anyone with dash cam who was driving in the area or residents with home CCTV systems to check their footage for anything relevant.

Dorset Police are asking people to warn their elderly relatives and neighbours about the scam so that they know what to look out for.

Det Con Holly Spillman said: “We would like to remind everyone that neither police officers or your bank will ask you to withdraw money to be collected. They will also not ask for your PIN number. If you are in any doubt, hang up and call your bank directly. “We are also asking people to speak to their elderly loved ones or neighbours about this scam to raise awareness so that no one else becomes a victim.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police on 101, quoting reference number 55200186260. 

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