Yorkshire fraud victims conned into using life savings to buy £450,000 worth of gold bullion

Two elderly fraud victims were conned into using their life savings to buy £450,000 worth of gold bullion which was then picked up by courier for the 'police'.

By Andrew Hutchinson
Friday, 12th November 2021, 1:37 pm
Two elderly fraud victims were conned into using their life savings to buy £450,000 worth of gold bullion which was then picked up by courier for the 'police'.
Two elderly fraud victims were conned into using their life savings to buy £450,000 worth of gold bullion which was then picked up by courier for the 'police'.

They were scammed out of their entire savings after the gold bars were collected by someone to for 'safekeeping.'

A 26-year-old man has been arrested after being picked up by cops as he tried to sell one of the gold bars off to a pawnbroker.

The victims, from North Yorkshire, were called by fraudsters claiming to be from the police and told their accounts have been compromised.

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The individual is usually advised to go to the bank and withdraw all their money in cash which will then be picked up by a ‘police courier’ for safekeeping, police said.

But in a cruel twist, they were told to purchase gold bullion with money from their bank accounts and then the gold was to be collected by the ‘couriers’ to be kept safe.

North Yorkshire Police said the elderly victims spent more than £450,000 in gold bullion and lost their entire life savings.

On Tuesday 9 cops struck gold when they were tipped off about a man trying to sell one of the gold bullion bars to pawnbroker in London.

North Yorkshire Police officers travelled to capital to arrest him and he has been charged with fraud and money laundering offences.

Detective Inspector Jon Hodgeon, from North Yorkshire Police, said: “This was a horrible crime, which had a devastating effect on two completely innocent victims.

"They were contacted by fraudsters and groomed over a period of months, their trust and good nature was callously exploited, resulting in them sending their entire life savings to people they believed to be police officers.

“This type of crime is the highest priority for North Yorkshire Police and I hope that this arrest sends a powerful message to criminals that we will pursue you wherever you are.

"I would like to thank the pawnbrokers and gold dealers for alerting us to the criminal activity and giving us the opportunity to act.

"It is critical that everybody in the financial sector works together, to share intelligence and this is a great example of what results such partnership working can deliver.

“I would also like to thank my officers for the hard work and long hours they have put into investigating this crime and bringing the offender to justice.

“I hope it sends a very clear message to all the fraudsters out there that we will not stop in our quest to track you down and we will do everything in our power to put a stop to the scams which claim so many victims every year.”

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