Switched-on staff help to switch off Bexhill fraudsters

Police.
Police.

Alert counter staff helped police foil two attempts to defraud vulnerable people in Bexhill.

In one incident last Thursday (March 8) police said a 95-year-old woman uncharacteristically asked to withdraw more than £5,000 cash from her account at the town’s branch of Lloyds Bank.

But the manager became suspicious and kept the intended victim chatting while police were called and she was dissuaded from making the transaction.

In a second incident on the same day police said a telephone caller, claiming to be a telecoms engineer called Steve Rogers, asked a 77-year-old woman to send £750 via Moneygram to someone in Italy, thus helping to ‘catch a criminal’.

But, again, an alert counter clerk at the Post Office in Devonshire Square, Bexhill, suspected criminals might be behind it and contacted police. Although the victim tried to send the money by another means, further steps were taken to block the payment going through.

In both cases officers were able to interact with the intended victims’ families, offering advice on how to be aware of fraudulent approaches and what action to take.

Inspector Dan Russell, of the Rother police prevention team, said: “The staff involved are to be congratulated on spotting that things didn’t seem quite right and taking appropriate action.

“Elderly or vulnerable people and their relatives are reminded that they should always treat requests for cash from unknown callers with deep suspicion, however plausible they might seem.”

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