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FRAUDSTER: Man due in court charged with conning pensioner out of more than £120,000

FRAUDSTER: Man due in court charged with conning pensioner out of more than £120,000

Credit: Northumbria Police

A 37-year-old man is due to appear in court charged with conning a pensioner out of more than £120,000.

On Friday (May 7), officers were alerted by the Royal Bank of Scotland to a suspected fraud involving a pensioner in the Penshaw area of Houghton-le-Spring.

It was reported that the victim had entered his local bank and tried to transfer £20,000 to another individual’s account.

However, after taking a closer look at the man’s account history, suspicious bank staff intervened, rejected the transaction and contacted police.

Between December 2020 and April this year, they found the man in his 70s had transferred a total of £126,000 in five separate transactions to three different accounts.

Officers launched an investigation into the suspicious activity and learnt the man believed he was paying the accountant of a roofing company who had offered to carry out work on his home.

A 37-year-old man was subsequently arrested and later charged with fraud by false representation. He is due to appear at Newcastle Crown Court in the coming months.

Detective Chief Inspector Sean Mcguigan, of Northumbria Police, said: “I would like to thank the bank for contacting us after a vulnerable man entered a branch and tried to transfer a significant sum of money.

“This was not the first time that a substantial amount had been transferred from the account, and they absolutely did the right thing to contact police and pass on their suspicions.

“A man was swiftly identified and interviewed in connection with the suspected offences, and will now answer those charges when he appears in court on a later date.

“We will continue to work closely with the banking industry in our fight against fraud, offering regular training on what cashiers can look out for and how to spot a fraud, to ultimately ensure perpetrators are brought to justice.

“I would like to reassure our communities that we are working tirelessly to prevent fraud in all its forms but would also urge vigilance. Fraudsters often target the most vulnerable in our communities so please make any loved ones, especially those living alone, aware of this type of criminality.

“If anybody turns up at your door unannounced and offers to carry out housing renovations, please be cautious – and if you have any concerns, get in touch with police or Action Fraud.”

Anyone who sees anything suspicious in their communities is asked to report it to police by contacting us via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of our website or by calling 101.

Alternatively, you can call Action Fraud direct on 0300 123 2040 or visit their website at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ for crime prevention advice and signs of how to spot fraudulent activity.

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