‘I feel sick about what’s happened’ – Daughter of Stevenage widow speaks out after heartless scammers trick 93-year-old into handing over £5,000
- Credit: Daniel WIlson
The daughter of a 93-year-old widow who was targeted by scammers in Stevenage this week said her mother has been left frightened and vulnerable after she was tricked into handing over £5,000.
The victim, who did not want to be named, was contacted on the telephone by a female claiming to be a police officer from Hammersmith Police Station on Tuesday afternoon.
She said that forged money was being used in Barclays in Stevenage and they needed her help in bringing the criminals to justice.
The victim’s daughter said: “They seemed to know information about my mother, her name and address, that she had two grandsons and they knew who she banked with.”
The scammers arranged for a taxi to pick the woman up from her St. Nicholas home and take her to Barclays in the town centre where she was told plain clothes police officers would keep an eye on her while she was to withdraw the £11,000 she said was in her account. However the maximum she could take out was £5,000.
“Normally she wouldn’t give out any bank details but they did everything to put her at ease.
“The woman spoke to her with a nice voice, they told her to tell nobody about the situation and because it was the police she thought it was OK.
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“They even got her a taxi because she can’t get on buses – they had everything covered,” said the 62-year-old daughter.
The victim returned home with the money in the taxi, after the driver was instructed to wait, and received another call telling her a police courier would come to her home to collect the cash and when he turned up at her home dressed in motorcycling gear, she handed over the money.
“She was led to believe the officer would be returning later that day to go through everything.”
“My mother finally contacted me yesterday evening, very upset over what happened. She said ‘don’t be angry, but I need to tell you something.’
“Of course I’m not angry with her, I’m angry with the people who have done this.”
The victim has two children and four grandchildren and has lived on her own since the death of her husband in the 1980s.
She said: “My mother is very shaken up, as someone actually came to her house she does feel very vulnerable.
“Once she realised she felt very foolish. Because it’s a scam and not fraud, it’s unlikely she will get the money back.
“I’m extremely angry, It’s an awful thing to do. I feel very sick that someone has come to her house and I’m just thankful it wasn’t worse, they could have got in and beaten her up or something.
“I would like everyone to be aware of this scam, so hopefully no one else will have to go through what my mother has experienced.”
There have been seven other similar incidents in Stevenage reported to the police since March 18, and on four occasions money was handed over. Police are urging anyone who thinks they may have fallen victim to a scam to contact 101.