A Stevenage pensioner was close to sending £15,000 of his life savings to a con artist pretending to be from his bank – but thought twice after seeing a Neighbourhood Watch email warning him about the scam.

The man was so impressed with Neighbourhood Watch – who regularly send out email updates about local crimes, advice about scams and information about police events – that he came into Stevenage Police Station to thank officers personally.

“It’s very easy to fall victim to these types of scams,” said Watch Liaison Officer Verity Soued.

““The fraudsters are very convincing and they prey on vulnerable and elderly members of our communities.

“Luckily, in this case, the man had recently seen the message warning residents about the telephone scam where fraudsters pretend to be from your bank and tell you that your account details have been compromised. Realising he was being conned, he put the phone down and contacted police.”

She added: “Neighbourhood Watch is all about alerting, informing and advising residents as well as asking for their help in tracing missing people or letting us know information about crime, especially burglaries and vehicle crime in their local area.”

If you’d like to get involved, it’s simple to join up. Register at owl.co.uk or speak to your local PCSO to receive emails about crime in your local area.