New Forest man, 78, defrauded out of £143,000

Scammers are targeting pensioners in the New Forest <i>(Image: Newsquest)</i>
Scammers are targeting pensioners in the New Forest (Image: Newsquest)

A 78-year-old man from the New Forest has been defrauded out of £143,000, police say.

The pensioner received a call on Tuesday informing him that he had been the victim of a financial investment and had lost money due to it.

The suspect told the victim that he would be able to recover his money but could only do so after the victim transferred a total of £143,000 over a period of four months.

This money was then transferred via Binance – a cryptocurrency exchange service.

The victim was also asked by the fraudster to confirm his name and address.

The incident is one of five courier frauds in the New Forest since September – prompting police to urge residents to remain vigilant.

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A spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary said: “This type of fraud typically sees a victim receive an unexpected call from someone who purports to be a police officer, a staff member from their local bank, or an employee from an internet or phone provider.

“The most recent reports have involved people claiming to be police officers and IT experts from Microsoft.

“They then tell the victim that their account has been subject to fraudulent activity and then request that the victim helps with the ongoing investigation.

“This involves being asked details about their financial accounts, being sent to their bank to withdraw money, and granting the caller access to their computer or phone, by downloading an application.”

They added: “Victims are then told to hand over money or an expensive item to a fraudulent courier, who will typically come to their home to collect it.

“They are also encouraged not to discuss this with any friends, family or bank staff.

“The five reports of courier fraud in the New Forest recently have resulted in elderly victims losing thousands of pounds.”

Also on Tuesday, an 84-year-old man received a telephone call from someone purporting to be a police officer.

The suspect told the victim that two of his grandchildren had been caught with a cloned credit card, and asked for his name, number and other personal details.

Some details were passed, before the suspect then ended the call. Although there was no financial loss on this occasion, the victim was worried about the personal information which they had passed to the suspect.

In a separate incident, a 69-year-old woman lost over £1,000 through two transactions after receiving a phone call from someone claiming to be from the bank’s fraud department.