Fake detective fleeces victims in Bolton out of thousands of pounds

A fake detective has scammed victims out of thousands of pounds. The fraudster has struck five times this month in the Bolton area.

In each case the man has posed as an officer to persuade victims to go to their bank and withdraw significant amounts of cash. Between Monday 4th and Thursday 14th April, five incidents which all appear to be linked have been reported to GMP but it is feared their could be many more.

The offender has contacted the victims from a withheld number stating that he is a detective from Greater Manchester Police investigating ‘bank fraud’. He is understood to tell the victim that as part of the fraud investigation they need to withdraw cash from their bank account and a colleague will collect the money from them – this has ranged from values ​​of £2k to £70k.

Victims have so far been from the Little Lever, Horwich and Westhoughton areas of Bolton, and have tended to be aged in their 70s and 80s. Unfortunately in two of the five cases, money – the most being in excess of £6,000 – has been handed over to the offender, who was said to be wearing tracksuit bottoms and a hoody.

Police believe one man is responsible for the series of incidents and that he is trying to target people that he thinks are vulnerable to this kind of crime. GMP are actively searching for any other similar incidents that could possibly be linked to this series across Bolton and beyond.

Westhoughton – one of the Bolton districts where a bogus detective has struck

They are also trying to establish with the victims an accurate description of what the offender looks and sounds like, but understand that he is a young man.

No police officer will ask for you to withdraw money for any reason. Every police officer has a warrant card to make their identity available to members of the public. If you are unsure of an officer’s legitimacy then you are entitled to ask them for their name and collar number – and can call 101 if unsure or 999 in the event of an emergency.

Detective Chief Inspector Dean Purtill, of our Bolton district, said: “We want to make local people aware of five incidents that have so far been brought to our attention about a man purporting a police officer from GMP and asking for significant of money to be withdrawn.

“Impersonating a police officer in itself is illegal, but to do this to defraud innocent members of the community is an appalling offense and we are doing what we can to conduct several lines of inquiry to catch whoever is responsible for this.

Bolton police are investigating a fake detective who has tried to persuade victims to withdraw up to £70,000 from bank accounts.

“A big part of our initial investigation is to establish the full picture of this offending, and therefore I urge anyone who may think they too have been a victim of this scam to contact us online, if able, or via 101.

“I must stress that no police officer would have a reason to be randomly making contact with people and asking them to withdraw money, and if you ever have contact with someone saying they’re from the police and you’re unsure of their genuineness then do know you are entitled to ask for proof of identity, or can contact 101 if unsure – always call 999 in an emergency.”

If you have been affected by this crime – or have any further information – then please contact us online, if able, via the LiveChat facility on our website, or by calling 101.

Details can be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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