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Officers are appealing for information after an elderly woman was conned out of thousands of pounds by a person claiming to be a police officer.
At around 12.30pm on Tuesday 23 March 2021 officers attended a property on Bentham Road, Standish following a report of fraud.
Enquiries established that on the previous day (22 March) the victim – a woman in her 80s – had received a phone call from a man purporting to be a police officer telling her that suspicious activity had been noticed on her husband’s bank account.
The man proceeded to tell her that as part of an investigation into her bank, she would need to withdraw £5000 to later be collected from her house.
Agreeing to his request, the woman withdrew £5000 and was later called by person claiming to be from her bank. The person informed her that she would get her money back and further instructed her to hand over any remaining money that she had in her home address.
Later that afternoon a female attended the victim’s house – purporting to be a courier for the police – and collected the withdrawn money from the victim.
The woman was described as middle eastern, in her early 20’s, of slim build, with slick black brown hair, long false nails and wearing a high-vis jacket.
In total, £12,000 was taken from the victim.
Police Constable Sharpe of GMP's Wigan district, said: “Preying on vulnerable members of society is despicable and we’re doing all we can to ensure those responsible are identified.
“We’re appealing to anyone in the area who also may have fallen victim to a similar offence to get in touch with police. In addition, if you think you recognise the description of the woman or witnessed any suspicious activity in your area, please come forward and speak with us.
“I would also urge members of the community to remain vigilant to this type of activity. It’s important to always be suspicious of phone calls, texts or emails which come out of the blue asking for personal and financial details or asking you to withdraw money regardless of who they claim to represent.
“If you receive a call that raises your suspicions hang up and phone the police non-emergency number 101 on a different phone, or allow at least five minutes for the line to clear.”
Anyone with information should contact police on 0161 856 7124 quoting incident 810 of 23/02/21. Alternatively, details can be passed on anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.