Suspected fraudster due in court accused of conning Sunderland pensioner out of £126,000
A suspected fraudster is due to appear in court charged with conning a pensioner out of more than £120,000.
Northumbria Police was alerted by the Royal Bank of Scotland to suspected fraud involving a pensioner in the Penshaw area.
It was reported that the victim, who is in his 70s, had entered his local bank and tried to transfer £20,000 to another individual’s account.
But in taking a closer look at the man’s account, they found that between December 2020 and April this year the victim had transferred a total of £126,000 in five separate transactions to three different accounts.
The suspicious bank staff intervened, rejected the transaction and contacted police who launched an investigation.
Detectives learnt the man believed he was paying the accountant of a roofing company who had offered to carry out work on his home.
A 37-year-old man was subsequently arrested and later charged with fraud by false representation. He is due to appear at Newcastle Crown Court in the coming months.
Detective Chief Inspector Sean Mcguigan said: “I would like to thank the bank for contacting us after a vulnerable man entered a branch and tried to transfer a significant sum of money.
“This was not the first time that a substantial amount had been transferred from the account, and they absolutely did the right thing to contact police and pass on their suspicions.
“A man was swiftly identified and interviewed in connection with the suspected offences, and will now answer those charges when he appears in court on a later date.”
Northumbria Police will continue to work with the banking industry offering regular training on how to spot fraud.
DCI Mcguigan added: “Fraudsters often target the most vulnerable in our communities so please make any loved ones, especially those living alone, aware of this type of criminality.
“If anybody turns up at your door unannounced and offers to carry out housing renovations, please be cautious – and if you have any concerns, get in touch with police or Action Fraud.”
Anyone who sees anything suspicious in their communities is asked to report it to police by calling 101 or Action Fraud directly on 0300 123 2040.
Visit their website www.actionfraud.police.uk for crime prevention advice.