Criminal gangs are posing as police officers and conning vulnerable people in Derbyshire out of thousands of pounds.
In the last two days at least three victims have been targeted in the north east of the county – with one handing over £16,000.
Two of the victims have been contacted over the phone by criminals posing as officers from the Metropolitan Police, with another being approached at her door by a woman posing as an officer.
The con artists state that they have been a victim of fraud and that they need the victims help to find those responsible.
One victim was told to withdraw money in Euros – totalling £16,000 – which a courier then collected from her home.
Another victim gave £7,000 in cash, while a third victim was conned out of £2,000.
The gang warned the victims not speak to anyone as they would be in trouble for talking about police investigation.
As well as the money that was handed over, some of the victims gave the criminals their bank cards and further withdrawals of thousands of pounds were made. Fortunately the victim’s cards had been cancelled before the conmen could steal any more cash.
Detective Inspector Debbie King, who runs the economic crime unit at Derbyshire police, said: “This kind of crime preys on the best intentions of some of the most vulnerable people in our county.
“Each of our victims thought they were doing their civic duty and helping a police officer catch a fraudster – the reality is much different.
“The victims have been not only left out of pocket but also distraught about being conned in this way.
“I would urge anyone who has been approached by these criminals to contact us on 101 immediately and not to engage with them.
“If you are concerned about someone at your property then call 999 straight away.
“I would also ask anyone who knows a potentially vulnerable person to make sure they are aware of the motives of this gang and what they should do if they are approached.”
If you have any information which may assist with police, call 101 quoting reference 18*586859.