Help police identify man for questioning, after elderly Dulwich woman conned out of life savings

News Desk (24 April, 2017)

The 73-year-old lost over £30,000 in an elaborate phone scam

An elderly woman from Dulwich was conned out of thousands of pounds of her life savings by telephone scammers who impersonated police.

Local officers are now appealing for help to identify the man pictured, whom they would like to question in relation to the elaborate crime.

On March 27 at about 6.30pm, the 73-year-old victim received a call from a man who claimed to be a Met Police officer.

He said her debit card had been stopped due to fraudulent use, and he asked her for help with a “sting operation” to catch a group of offenders targeting elderly and vulnerable people in the area.

He deceived the victim, and on the same day, he persuaded her to go to Liverpool Street Station and buy 5,000 Euros from a bureau de change.

He told her the cash would be counterfeit, and would be used as evidence in a forthcoming court case, by putting it in a ghost bank account set up by the police.

She was told to hand the Euros to someone working as “an assistant”. They met her shortly afterwards and the assistant collected the money from her.

The next day (March 28), the victim was again duped a second time, when she was instructed to purchase a £25,050 watch from a shop in Knightsbridge. She had still been led to believe that she was assisting the police in their sting operation.

After buying the watch, the victim was instructed to meet the same assistant from the day before, and hand the watch to the assistant at Knightsbridge Tube Station.

The victim then received a phone call from an unknown person, again claiming to be a “police officer”, saying her evidence had been accepted.

After this, the victim was then unable to get in touch with him. She then became suspicious and contacted the police via 101.

Detectives would like to speak to the man in the CCTV in connection with the case.

He is described as Asian, about 5ft 8ins and aged in his 20s.

DC Michael Esangbedo from Southwark CID said: “I am pleading with anyone that recognises the man in the CCTV to get in touch with police.

“The offenders have deliberately deceived the victim out of her life savings. We are determined to bring those responsible to justice to prevent anyone else falling for the scam.

“We would urge people to remain vigilant at all times and any suspicions should be reported to the police.

“It is also worth noting that the police will never call members of the public and ask them to be part of a ‘sting’ operation.”

Anyone who recognises the man in the photo or anyone with information should contact police on 101, or anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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