Elderly woman saved from being conned out of cash
3 August 2012
POLICE in Brownhills have commended staff at a local HSBC branch for preventing an elderly woman from being conned out of a large amount of money.
A 77 year old Brownhills woman visited the branch on 30 July and asked to withdraw £1,000. The cashier was aware this was an unusual transaction for the elderly customer and queried her withdrawal. The cashier raised concerns to the manager when the woman explained the money was for repairs to her guttering.
As a result, police and the lady's son were called to the branch and took the lady home.
On further questioning the lady told officers that she had been approached by men offering to carry out work on her guttering and after some persuasion she agreed to be taken to the bank to withdraw the cash.
The offenders were waiting for the money nearby however once the police arrived they quickly left the area. Police are conducting enquiries in the area as part of a thorough investigation.
This follows an earlier incident on 27 July in the area and police are appealing to the local community to be vigilant and contact police if they have any information.
Rob Hutchingson, HSBC Branch Manager in Brownhills, said: "When my colleague spoke to our customer, she appeared a little confused and hesitant and after talking it through with her, we suggested she let us speak to her son and call the police.
"I am really pleased that with our help, this customer did not lose her money."
PC Julie Armstrong, who attended the bank said: "We are really grateful to the staff at HSBC for being so vigilant. Their intervention prevented this elderly lady from parting with her hard earned savings.
"Officers are visiting other banks and building societies in the area to brief staff so we can hopefully prevent any further incident of such a callous nature.
"We also need local communities to be aware of this type of crime and what they can do to prevent it.
"Rogue traders can sometimes try to convince victims that an unnecessary job needs doing. They can then use pressure and intimidation to extract large sums of money in advance of the work being completed.
"If you need garden work doing, trees cutting down or repairs made to your home always get several written quotes from reputable firms.
"If in doubt discuss plans with a family member and never allow anyone into your house or pay them money if you have not asked for work to be done. For a list of registered traders in Walsall visit www.traderregister.org.uk or telephone 01922 652246.
"If you are aware of vulnerable people in your neighbourhood please be vigilant and report anything suspicious to local police on 101."
Anyone with information about this type of crime should call Walsall Police on 101 or crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.