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Man arrested after police officer impersonation frauds in Brighton

Police in Brighton have arrested a man on suspicion of a series of frauds in which victims handed over thousands of pounds to a man impersonating a police officer.

Several reports were received in June of a man claiming to be a Metropolitan Police officer contacting vulnerable victims and convincing them to hand over large quantities of cash under the guise of assisting an investigation.

A suspect was identified following extensive house to house enquiries and trawls of CCTV by a Brighton PCSO and, on Tuesday, June 28, a vehicle linked to the individual was stopped and searched by neighbourhood policing officers.

Around £10,000 cash was found, along with a number of items believed to be connected to the reported offences.

A 21-year-old man from Wokingham was arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation and driving a vehicle without insurance. He has been released on conditional bail while enquiries continue.

Police believe there are likely to be more victims connected to the investigation and ask that anybody who believes they or somebody they know has been a victim to report it to police online or via 101, quoting Operation Signature.

PC Bernadette Lawrie said: “Police officers will never ask you for any money, your bank card or your PIN number.

“All of our officers have warrant card and badge numbers and if in doubt our officers would never have an issue with you calling the police to verify their identity. If you seemed unsure, they would actively encourage you to do so.

“Remember that if you’re a victim of a scam or an attempted scam, however minor, there may be other people in a similar position. Your information may form part of a larger jigsaw that is vital to completing the picture.

“If you or somebody you know has been a victim, please do report to us via the details given above.”

For more information about courier fraud and how to protect yourself from fraud and scams, please visit our Operation Signature page and remember these key points:

  • Your bank or the police will never call you to ask you to verify your personal details or PIN. If you get a call asking you to do this, hang up, wait a few minutes and call your bank on a number you know to be genuine, such as the one on the back of your card.
  • Your bank or the police will never send a courier to your home to collect your cash, bank cards, PINs or any other valuable goods. Any requests to do so are part of a scam.
  • The police will not contact you out of the blue and ask you to participate in an investigation that requires you to withdraw money from the bank, or to purchase high value goods such as jewellery or gold.

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