Two fraud­sters in­volved

Central Leader - - News - By Heather McCracken

Po­lice are now hunt­ing two fraud­sters thought to be in­volved in the fake de­tec­tive scam tar­get­ing el­derly women.

An 83-year-old wo­man from Pa­p­a­toe­toe has been iden­ti­fied as the fifth known vic­tim.

The phony cop stole $1200 from the wo­man’s ac­count af­ter steal­ing her bank card while pre­tend­ing to in­ves­ti­gate an ear­lier crime.

Se­nior sergeant Hirone Ware­tini says the in­ci­dent matches other re­ports, but the of­fend- er’s de­scrip­tion is dif­fer­ent.

“Given the vari­a­tion in de­scrip­tion of the sus­pect we may be look­ing at more than one per­son,” he says.

The Pa­p­a­toe­toe wo­man re­ceived a phone call on April 18 from a man claim­ing to be a po­lice fraud squad in­ves­ti­ga­tor.

He had de­tails of a pre­vi­ous crime where her bank card had been stolen and money with­drawn from her ac­count.

The man then came to the wo­man’s house and asked for de­tails about her bank ac­count num­bers.

He asked to pho­to­graph her bank card and was told the PIN.

Mr Ware­tini says the wo­man be­came sus­pi­cious a few hours later when she no­ticed her card was miss­ing.

“She con­tacted her bank and found $1200 had been with­drawn.”

The of­fender is de­scribed as cau­casian, aged be­tween 20 and 30, of medium build with black wavy hair.

Other vic­tims have de­scribed the scam­mer as aged in his 40s, of solid build, with shoul­der length tidy hair.

So far four One­hunga women, all aged in their 80s and 90s, are known to have been tar­geted.

In one case $4000 was with­drawn from an 88-year-old wo­man’s bank ac­count af­ter she re­vealed her PIN to the fake de­tec­tive.

“We now know the ac­tiv­i­ties aren’t re­stricted to One­hunga,” Mr Ware­tini says.

“We would urge any­one that’s in the same sit­u­a­tion to come for­ward and make con­tact with us, or their lo­cal po­lice.”

He says any­one with an el­derly rel­a­tive who has had a bank card or credit card stolen in the past should be ex­tra vig­i­lant.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.