South Tyneside pensioner, 85, thanks police who helped him after he was conned out of hundreds of pounds by fraudsters posing as Microsoft technicians

A pensioner conned out of his hard-earned cash by fraudsters has praised officers for their rapid response and friendly advice.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 12:45 pm

Police received a report that an elderly South Tyneside man had been targeted by scammers posing as Microsoft technicians, telling him they were getting in touch to help fix his software problems.

The 85-year-old man had been experiencing problems with his computer, and so spent three hours on the phone to the con-artists, granting them remote access to his system.

By the end of the call, he had been defrauded of £700 and £800 Euros. A number of his passwords had also been compromised.

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Officers were praised for their quick response to the fraud incident.

Realising he had been duped, the man decided to contact ActionFraud – the national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre – and his case was immediately flagged with Northumbria Police.

PCs Nicola Goodfellow and Amanda Martin quickly attended the pensioner’s address, swiftly helping him to reset his passwords and secure his devices.

Following the incident, the man thanked PCs Goodfellow and Martin for their assistance.

In an email to the force’s Professional Standards department, he wrote: “I wish to compliment Northumbria Police for their rapid response to a cyber scam they dealt with on March 3.

“PC Nicola Goodfellow and PC Amanda Martin came to help me and they were very professional, friendly and patient while giving me advice.”

The man also praised what he described as the caring attitudes shown towards him by officers.

“Here in Northumbria, one of our top priorities is to make sure that those in our communities, especially the vulnerable, feel protected and supported,” added Chief Inspector Paul Walters.

“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.

"I’m pleased he had such a positive experience with PCs Goodfellow and Martin following what must have been a very stressful and traumatic situation for him.

“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.”

In the event of a suspected fraud, police remind residents to contact the force via 101 or Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040. They can also report incidents online at the Action Fraud website.

To block cold-calls, readers can also register their number with the Telephone Preference Service: https://www.tpsonline.org.uk/register.

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