Man arrested in dawn raids in connection with scams targeting the elderly

Police have arrested a suspected fraudster in dawn raids as investigations into a scam targeting elderly pensioners in Northumberland continue.

Friday, 8th November 2019, 12:22 pm
Updated Friday, 8th November 2019, 5:00 pm
Police have arrested a suspected fraudster.
Police have arrested a suspected fraudster.

On the morning of Thursday, November 7, officers arrested a 30-year-old man in connection with a large-scale scam involving elderly people.

Reports of elderly people in Bedlington and Seghill being targeted by fraudsters were received earlier in the year.

Police were told that men had claimed to be from HMRC and visited an address pressuring people into sending cash and valuables to them via a post.

Officers from the North East Regional Special Operations Unit launched a complex fraud investigation.

Supported by colleagues at the Metropolitan Police, officers executed warrants at two properties in Middlesex.

In the dawn raids, the 30-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of Conspiracy to commit Fraud and Money Laundering.

Detective Sergeant Shaun Fordy from NERSOU’s Bombay Team has urged members of the public to remain vigilant and to challenge anyone suspected to be scamming others.

He said: “We have seen the awful effects scams like this can have on victims. People lose their confidence and their trust in others; they are coerced into handing over their hard-earned cash and belongings and sometimes left with nothing.

“We would urge anyone to ignore any approaches made by cold-callers or through unsolicited letters. If someone knocks on your door, challenge them, ask for ID but never hand anything over.

“We would also ask families with elderly relatives to make sure they haven’t been contacted. Remember, no reputable company will ever ask you to send them cash or valuables in the post and we would encourage anyone who thinks they might have been targeted in this way to contact police immediately.

“As part of Operational Sentinel, our initiative to tackle serious and organised crime, we will be focussing on the criminal groups who target and exploit vulnerable people in this way and looking to disrupt their operations and bring them before the courts.”

To report suspicious behaviour call police on 101, report it online at the Northumbria Police website or contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.