An elderly man from East Hoathly was defrauded of £8,600 in a telephone deception.
The 82 year old victim received a call from a man purporting to be a detective sergeant investigating what they called a bank ‘fiddle’ involving fake banknotes.
The victim was asked to go to his bank in Uckfield and withdraw £5,000 in cash, he was told to not say anything to staff in case they were involved in the matter.
He was then instructed to read out the serial numbers from some of the notes, and the fraudster confirmed they were counterfeit and would be collected by a courier. The victim mentioned he had previously withdrawn £3,600 and again was told the notes were not genuine.
The initial call from the fraudster was received at noon on Monday 19 November, at around 17:50 a ‘courier’ arrived using a password the man had agreed on the telephone and was told that officers would contact him later – but they never did.
The criminals responsible were based in Hertfordshire.
PC Louis Morley, of Uckfield Police, said: “We would like to hear from anyone who may have seen this courier or the car he was driving.
He is described as black, aged 18 to 20, around 5′ 8″ tall, slim and with short black hair. He was wearing a black satin style bomber jacket, black trousers and black shoes.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Sussex Police by phoning 101, quoting serial 1148 of 19/11.
Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
PC Morley added: “Unfortunately the victim has had to accept he may never see his money again.
The people who carry out this type of crime are extremely plausible, often claiming to be authority figures, and use a well-rehearsed patter and methods deliberately aimed at duping their victims into parting with cash.”
Advice on how to deal with suspicious calls can be found on the Sussex Police website.