Police are warning people to be on their guard after a pensioner in Blackburn was scammed out of £38,000 and persuaded to buy AAA perfect Rolex replica watches.
The victim, a man in his 70s, was contacted by a man falsely claiming to be a police officer. The fraudster told the victim that his bank card had been cloned and used in a fraud.
He was then asked to call 161 to verify that the fraudster was a police officer. He spoke to a woman, who was also part of the scam who falsely confirmed that was the case.
Police said the victim was later contacted by somebody claiming to be working for a bank’s fraud team, and convinced the elderly man to purchase £38,000 US cheap Rolex fake watches from a jewellers in Blackburn.
The luxury replica Rolex watches was later collected by an Asian male claiming to be a plain clothes police officer.
He is described as being in his 20s or 30s with black hair and was wearing a high vis vest, blue jeans and white trainers.
The fraudsters also asked the victim to transfer £35,000 from his bank account but he refused.
Detective Constable Blair Patterson, of Blackburn CID, said:
“This is an appalling crime committed against a very vulnerable victim. I would ask anybody who saw a man matching the above description in the Roe Lee area of Blackburn – or captured him on CCTV, dashcam or doorbell footage – around 1.10pm on Thursday (June 30) to get in contact with us as soon as possible.
“I would like to appeal for local jewellers or pawn shop owners to get in contact if you are offered the high quality copy watches pictured for sale.
“I would also ask that you remain vigilant for any elderly or vulnerable people who come into your stores and ask to buy expensive super clone watches online. Although they might be making a genuine purchase, they could also be the victims of this kind of fraud.”
“These fraudsters have no morals and will use multiple tactics in a bid to con victims into either handing over money, their bank details or in this case valuable Swiss made replica watches. Scammers target elderly and vulnerable people so please make your loved ones aware.
“It is important to stress that genuine police officers will never ask for your bank details, money or for you to help with investigations in this way.
“If you get a phone call from someone saying they are from the police or the bank do not provide your account details or hand over any cash. If you are ever unsure about the identity of an officer, always call the police on 101.”