Warning as fake police officers target victims

editorial image

Can you help police find missing man last spotted in Portsmouth?

  • Scammers tried to fleece pensioner by posing as police
7
Have your say

DETECTIVES are warning older people not to fall victim to a scam in which fraudsters pretend to be police officers in a bid to empty the victim’s bank account.

In the latest case, an 88-year-old man targeted by men posing as detectives narrowly avoided being fleeced of his entire bank account.

They won’t get any money from me

Victim

Leslie Burgess received a phone call from a man claiming to be a detective investigating a fraud asking to meet at a bank.

Police say it is one of a number of similar scams being run in the Gosport area.

Unconvinced, Mr Burgess, of Jellicoe Avenue, Gosport, still went to his bank in High Street, Gosport, where he waited outside unsure of what to do.

While he did not think the scammer – who even put his fake supervisor ‘Detective Sergeant John West’ on the phone – was really a police officer, he played along for a while.

He said: ‘He said dial 999 to check – you can’t dial on an existing line.

‘I got another person, a third person, which is what they wanted. It was obvious by now it was a scam.’

While at the bank, staff came out to ask him if he was alright.

‘I said “look this is embarrassing”, and told her the story,’ he said.

‘The lady said it was an obvious scam and they passed it to the bank fraud squad.

‘I then had to go to the nursing home to see my sister.

‘When I got there I was going up the drive and my phone rang.’

Another man was on the phone claiming to be a police officer and wanting to know where Mr Burgess was.

Now he fears he was being watched the whole time he was at the bank.

He was called last Friday afternoon when at home. No cash was taken in the attempted scam.

Mr Burgess added: ‘Anyone respectful of the police won’t think it’s a bit overboard. But no, they won’t get any money from me.’

A spokesman for Hampshire police said the incident had been reported but there are no leads.

The News understands there were two other similar scams run in Gosport last week when Mr Burgess was targeted.

Detectives have warned the scam is spreading across Hampshire and has happened in Fratton.

In one case an elderly victim booked a cab to go to the bank and withdraw cash.