Disabled Worthing woman conned out of £1,800 in widespread fraud campaign
A disabled woman from Worthing was conned out of £1,800 in a fraud campaign that affected people across the area.
Sussex Police said they had received nine reports in just under two weeks of people falling victim to courier fraud.
In each case residents have been called or visited by someone purporting to be from Dyno-Rod, a national plumbing and drainage company, claiming emergency work was required on tree roots that are causing damage to sewers and a cash deposit was needed to hire the required equipment, police said.
On Monday, June 3 a woman in Hove received a phone call asking for payment for the equipment. A man came round shortly after to collect her card and £250 was withdrawn.
On the same day a woman in Hove received a similar phone call with the request for payment. No money was handed over, police said.
On Tuesday (June 4) two Worthing and a Brighton woman were targeted both on the phone and in person. No money was handed over. On the same day a Worthing man handed over £450 to a man who stated money was required to fix a drainage issue, police said.
On Wednesday (June 5) a Brighton woman received a phone call asking for payment but she checked with the council who confirmed it was a scam. No money was handed over, police added.
On Thursday (June 6) a disabled woman in Worthing handed over her card and PIN to pay for the deposit of the equipment. A total of £1,800 was taken from the account before the card was stopped, police said.
PC Bernadette Lawrie, the Sussex Police Financial Abuse Safeguarding Officer said: "Remember - no police officer, or bank staff on the phone, will ever ask for your bank details or for cash. Don't give your details or cash to anyone in these circumstances!
"Luckily the majority of the victims realised something didn’t feel quite right and made contact with a professional body who confirmed the matter was a scam.
“For further advice and information on preventing this type of fraud, click the link for the Sussex Police website."