9:50am Thursday 29th May 2014
Police are continuing to warn residents in Braintree district to be on their guard against fraudsters after two people were tricked out of more than £1,100.
They are the latest victims in a scam in which bogus police officers ask their victims to hand over cash or bank cards to be forensically examined as part of a fraud investigation.
A 78-year-old woman in Braintree lost £300 from her accounts after handing over bank cards on May 14 and in Witham a 69-year-old woman lost £850 after handing over three debit cards and three credit cards on May 19.
Both had been contacted by a man calling himself DCI or DC Ben Adams of the Metropolitan Police and based at Hammersmith. He told the victims that their bank details had been found in possession of several men who had been arrested as part of fraud investigation in London.
Couriers were sent to pick up the cards, which in both cases were used to withdraw money from ATMs in London.
Four other people living in the Braintree district were contacted as part of the same scam but all four quickly ended the call and contacted Essex Police. The name Ben Adams was used in two of the attempted frauds.
The scam first came to light in Essex in January 2013 but was first reported in Braintree district in August 2013.
Between August and December 2013 a total of 13 offences were reported in the district, of which two led to thieves stealing £26,000. One victim handed over £16,000 in cash.
Since January 2014 a total of 22 offences have been reported in Braintree district, of which six resulted in a total of £27,500 being taken.
In two cases bank staff intervened when potential victims were asked to withdraw large sums of cash.
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