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Elderly woman loses thousands of pounds in phone scam

An elderly woman has been conned out of thousands of pounds by scammers targeting communities in West Norfolk this week.

Detectives have today pleaded for people to be vigilant and to make their older neighbours and relatives aware of the problem.

The appeal comes after a woman in West Winch lost £4,200 after being targeted by a cold caller on Tuesday.

Norfolk Police are warning of a phone scam (48427272)
Norfolk Police are warning of a phone scam (48427272)

The caller claimed to be a police officer and duped her into believing she was helping an investigation into counterfeit money.

After withdrawing cash, someone claiming to be a courier then collected it from her home before the scammers contacted her again, suggesting the money was indeed fake.

Officers are also investigating an incident in Clenchwarton on the same day, in which a man was asked to withdraw £9,000 from his account by someone claiming to be a police officer investigating a theft from them.

Although the man managed to withdraw £2,000, no cash was ever handed over, because he told a family member what had happened, who then reported it.

Detective Inspector Richard Weller, of Swaffham CID, said elderly people should be warned about the possibility that they could be targeted.

He said: "These scammers can be really convincing, making the caller feel they are helping a genuine police investigation, compelling them to withdraw the money. Suspects will then arrange to collect the money from the victim.

"More often than not, we’re talking large sums of cash into the thousands which is ultimately people’s savings and funds they rely on.

"Police officers will never ask you to withdraw money, or send someone to collect money.

"We know scammers target the elderly and I would urge people to make their family members, friends and neighbours aware of this scam and the warning signs.”

Anyone who may have received a similar call, or who has information, is asked to contact Norfolk Police via the non-emergency 101 number, quoting Operation Radium.

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