Police in Bromley are warning members of the public not to hand over money to men claiming to be detectives involved in a Bromley-led operation to tackle local criminals.Residents in Bromley have reported being approached by suspects posing as detectives and asking for money.
Officers in Orpington have recorded two incidents in the past week where members of the public have received calls from bogus detectives.
This is how the scam is carried out; a bogus detective rings the victim to explain that they are conducting an operation to trap local criminals and need money and assistance from members of the public in order to carry out their investigation. They appear to know the surname of the person they are contacting, which may make the call more credible. The caller also explains that the money provided will be marked with a special dye, as part of the bogus police operation.
Victims have been asked to provide large amounts of cash which is subsequently collected from their home address by another bogus police officer. The victims are even given a code or reference number. The fake police officer, who later collects the money from the victim’s address, will quote the reference number when he collects the cash, simply to make the scam look more believable.
Victims are also told that their money is being safely stored at Orpington Police Station.
In one case, one of the victims was also showed a fake ID similar to an officer’s warrant card.
One of the suspects is described as in his thirties, approximately 6’ tall, olive skin, dark brown hair, with stubble and wearing a grey tracksuit with trainers. A second suspect has simply been described as a black man.
Both incidents have taken place in Orpington and so far two victims have handed over a total of £12,000.
Bromley CID are investigating.
Chief Inspector Katrina Smith from police in Bromley said:
“We don’t ask members of the public to provide us with money in order to assist with our investigations. Please be extra vigilant and do not hand any money to anyone; it does not matter if they say they are from the police or if they say that they are working with detectives. Do not hand over any cash”.
She added; “It appears that the scammers are targeting elderly people and pensioners. If you have an elderly relative or friend, please make them aware of this scam and ensure that they do not hand over any cash to strangers under any circumstances.”
Anyone with information should contact DC James Coldham, Bromley CID on 020 8284 8783 or 020 8284 8785. Anyone with information who wishes to remain anonymous should ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111