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Bogus female cop phone scam moves on to Harlow

Communities / Tue 8th Apr 2014 at 03:53pm

DETECTIVES have warned people in west Essex to be on their guard after further fraud attempts by a woman claiming to be a police officer.

The woman, who calls herself Jennifer Clark, or Jennifer Lark, has phoned about 15 people in the south and north of Essex in recent weeks in an attempt to obtain their bank cards or PIN numbers.

But today, Tuesday April 8, at about 2pm, she tried to trick a man at Millwards, Harlow. Fortunately he quickly realised that her call was part of an on-going scam and he called genuine police officers.

The woman also today made a series of calls to people in parts of Hertfordshire, just across the county boundary from Harlow, but all were unsuccessful.

DS Neil Hudson said: “This woman is linked to attempted frauds across Uttlesford and the south of the county.

“She always claims to be an officer from the local police station and says she is investigating burglaries in the area. She tells her intended victims that her bank cards have been found as a result of enquiries into the burglaries, then asks the victims to let police have bank or credit cards or large sums of cash for forensic examination.

“There have been similar scams where the victims are tricked into providing cards or cash but they are never returned.

“A woman claiming to be a local officer investigating burglaries is a new form of the telephone fraud and we urgently need to warn people to be on their guard.”

The telephone fraudsters, who have mainly been men, made 140 calls to Essex residents during March but the majority were fortunately unsuccessful.

A total of 750 similar thefts and attempted thefts have been reported in Essex since the scam first came to light in January 2013, and similar crimes have been reported in the Met Police area and other counties.

More than 100 people in Essex have been tricked out of money and the total stolen is more than £355,000. Six people have been arrested in connection with the investigation.

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