POLICE are urging people to look out for their relatives, friends or anyone they care for as officers investigate reports a Kirk Langley man has been scammed out of thousands of pounds by fraudsters.
It is believed the 82-year-old has been the victim of a number of Advanced Fee Frauds, which have taken place over a long period of time and have seen the man lose thousands of pounds.
Advanced Fee Fraud is where victims are told to make advance or upfront payments for goods, services, or to claim money they have won or inherited.
The goods or money promised to the victim do not really exist, and never materialise after payment has been made.
Officers were alerted by an officer from Police Service Northern Ireland earlier this month who was investigating a similar case, and looking into a connection to the man in Kirk Langley.
The man had been receiving numerous scam phone calls and letters claiming he had won money but needed to send a payment to secure it.
On one occasion the man believed a solicitor had phoned him with the instructions of the payment he was required to make.
PC Chris Bond, intelligence officer for the doorstep crime unit at Derbyshire police, said: “The investigation is still at an early stage, but we think this man has been the victim of a complicated fraud which has seen him conned into paying out thousands of pounds through cheques and bank transactions over a 12 to 14 month period.
“It’s important that we raise awareness of this type of crime to help prevent others from suffering.
"The best advice is not to respond to letters or phone calls which promise goods or prizes which seem too good to be true, as they probably are.
"Always question offers which come out of the blue like this.”
PC Bond added: “Please also look out for any relatives, friends, neighbours or even someone you care for, as while anyone can become a victim of a fraud, it is often older people, those who live alone, suffer health conditions or are showing signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease that are more at risk.
“They may be keeping large amounts of paperwork or letters in the house, or may not be opening their post if they are concerned about the demands they are receiving. If you are suspicious, or think they have been a victim of fraud then contact the police or Action Fraud.”
Further information is available online at www.derbyshire.police.uk/stampoutfraud
If you think that you have been a victim of fraud, contact the non-emergency number for Derbyshire police on 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.