Pensioner conned by bogus officer

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A “heartless” crook has stolen thousands of pounds from a vulnerable pensioner after claiming to be a police officer.

The con artist stole savings of more than £3,000 from his 86-year-old victim, who lives in Layton, in a carefully planned scam.

Heartless crime: Det Sgt Mark Dickinson (below) said other similar incidents had been reported

Heartless crime: Det Sgt Mark Dickinson (below) said other similar incidents had been reported

The thief even had the nerve to tell his victim he was investigating a possible fraud and warned him not to inform his bank – all to cover his tracks.

Detectives are looking into the possibility the crime is linked to several others reported across the North West and say there may be other victims on the Fylde coast who have not yet come forward.

Det Sgt Mark Dickinson said: “This is an absolutely heartless crime and this kind of thing can really affect the self-confidence of the elderly.

“The victim was left shaken up and says he can’t believe it has happened.

“The offender has gone to the trouble to make themselves sound quite authentic.”

The incident took place on Tuesday, when a man claiming to be a police officer from Brighton visited the victim’s Wynnwood Avenue home.

The fake officer said he was investigating a possible fraud and told the pensioner to withdraw all his money from his savings account.

He then warned him not to tell his bank in case he tipped off the fictional fraudsters, saying it might be an inside job.

Once the 86-year-old had done as he was asked, a man – who police say may be the same con artist – visited his home and took the money, saying it would be put back in his account the next day.

Det Sgt Dickinson said: “There have been other incidents similar in nature reported across the North West.

“We are working to establish whether they are linked – an extensive investigation is under way.

“I suspect there are a few people this has happened to and we would encourage anyone else who has been a victim of such an offence but maybe felt uncomfortable reporting it to come forward.”

Police are also urging anyone who gets a visit from cold callers not to hand over any valuables or disclose personal information.

Anyone with any information about the incident should call police on 101.