Chichester and Horsham jewellers spot pensioner watch scam

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Alert staff at two jewellers have prevented an elderly Chichester man from becoming a courier fraud victim, police said.

On Thursday, October 19, an 81-year-old Chichester resident received a phone call from a man claiming to be a DC Campbell from the Serious Fraud Squad, Hammersmith.

According to police, the bogus policeman stated that the man’s debit card had been duplicated, asking how much money was in his account.

He was then directed to visit a jewellers in Chichester to purchase a watch worth about £28,000 to prevent the money being taken from the account, and, if asked, he was told to say it was for his grandson.

Luckily the shop staff refused his request to purchase the watch as they realised it was a fraud, police said in a statement.

The following day the man received another call from ‘DC Campbell’.

He was told to visit a jewellers in Horsham to purchase another watch, this time worth £27,000.

The man took a taxi to Horsham, where again staff were suspicious, refused the purchase and called the police.

Neither jewellers was named by police.

PC Bernadette Lawrie, Sussex Police Financial Abuse Safeguarding Officer, said: “Please remember, to protect yourself against courier fraud.

“It is good that shop and bank staff are increasingly recognising the tell-tale signs of this type of fraudulent activity and are blocking purchases and contacting the police.

“But everyone, especially the elderly and those who live alone, must remain on the alert for approaches like this.”

Police have reminded people of the following:

Your bank will never send a courier to your home.

Your bank and the police will never collect your bank card.

Your bank and the police will never ask for your PIN.

If you receive one of these calls end it immediately.

If you suspect a scam, you can contact Sussex Police on 101 or online.