How an elderly man helped police catch fraudster

A still from a video issued by Hertfordshire Police warning people of the dangers posed by phone scams

A still from a video issued by Hertfordshire Police warning people of the dangers posed by phone scams

  • A man in his sixties from Tring has helped police catch a fraudster
  • He was contacted by a man claiming to be from the Metropolitan Police Service
  • The man acted on advice given via the Online Watch system
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An elderly man has helped police stop a fraudster in his tracks.

The Tring man, who is in his sixties, was contacted at around 2.40pm on Wednesday, April 8, by a man claiming to be from the Metropolitan Police Service fraud investigation department.

The fraudster stated that two people had been arrested and were found to be in possession of the man’s bank cards.

He told the victim to dial 999 to confirm who the caller was.

Unfortunately for the conman, his would-be victim already had knowledge of this scam thanks to messages shared between the police and public via the Online Watch Link (OWL) system.

Remembering the advice, the man ended the call and then, using a different phone, contacted the police to make them aware of what had happened.

These scams can have a devastating effect on people as they could lose their life savings

George Holland, safer neighbourhood inspector for Dacorum

Had the man believed the caller and followed his instructions it’s likely he would have then been asked to disclose security information about his bank accounts, including his PIN, and to hand his bank cards over to a courier.

The cards would then later be used to withdraw the victim’s money, as has happened in numerous previous incidents across the county.

Safer neighbourhood inspector for Dacorum George Holland said: “Through the OWL system, residents regularly receive updates from their local officers about crimes occurring in their area, crime prevention advice, witness appeals and information about local events.

“We are continuing to raise awareness of phone scams and how people can avoid falling victim to them and, as part of this, we have been sending out messages on OWL.

“These scams can have a devastating effect on people as they could lose their life savings to fraudsters so it’s fantastic to see the messages sent via OWL having such a positive effect.

“I’d encourage anyone who isn’t signed up to find out more by visiting www.owl.co.uk.

“I’d also urge everyone to share the following advice about phone scams with their family, friends and neighbours.”

For more information about phone scams and how to avoid becoming a victim, visit www.herts.police.uk/PhoneScams.