Elderly victim conned out of money by computer fraudsters thanks police for rapid response
An 85-year-old man conned out of his savings has praised the police officers who came to his rescue when he realised he has been the target of an attack.
Northumbria Police received a report the pensioner had been the victim of scammers pretending they were Microsoft technicians.
The man, who lives in South Tyneside, had been having issues with his computer and spent three hours on the phone to the tricksters, granting them remote access to his system.
By the end of the call, he had been conned out of £700 and 800 Euros – which is equal to £677 and £1,377 in total – and a number of his passwords were compromised.
After realising he had been duped, he contacted ActionFraud and his case was flagged to the force.
PCs Nicola Goodfellow and Amanda Martin visited his home to safeguard him from further scams and check he was okay, issuing valuable advice, helping him to reset his passwords and secure his devices.
The man has issued a heartfelt thank you, complimenting the actions of PC Goodfellow and Martin, praising their calibre and caring attitudes.
In an email to the force's Professional Standards department, he wrote: “PC Nicola Goodfellow and PC Amanda Martin came to help me and they were very professional, friendly and patient while giving me advice.”
Chief Inspector Paul Walters added: “While this particular incident is being investigated by ActionFraud, it is only right that our officers attended and made sure the victim felt supported and was offered additional help and advice on how to keep himself safe from these despicable scam in the future.
“Our officers are dedicated to tackling fraud and cybercrime in all its forms and we’d encourage anyone who has had a similar experience or thinks they have fallen victim, to get in touch with us as soon as possible.”
Police say reputable organisations will never cold-call, ask or pressure people into giving information.
People are asked to stop and take a moment to think about who might be on the line and remember it is OK to refuse or ignore and requests.
Incidents can be reported via 101 or Action Fraud immediately by calling 0300 123 2040 or report it online at the Action Fraud website.
To block cold-calls, register with the Telephone Preference Service https://www.tpsonline.org.uk/register.