On Tuesday (June 28), a man claiming to be a police officer from London contacted the victim, a man in his 70s from the Roe Lee area of town.
The fraudster informed the victim that his bank card had been cloned and used in a London-based scam.
The victim was then instructed to dial 161 in order to confirm that the fraudster was a police officer. A woman, who was also a fraudster, falsely confirmed that the man with whom the victim was speaking was a police officer.
Later, the victim was contacted by someone claiming to be from a bank's fraud team and working on a covert police investigation with the fake police officer.
They persuaded the victim to buy a £38,000 Rolex from a Blackburn jeweller.
The watch was later recovered by an Asian male posing as a plainclothes police officer. He was described as being in his 20s or 30s, with black hair, and dressed in a high-visibility vest, blue jeans, and white trainers.
The fraudsters demanded £35,000 from the victim's bank account, but he refused.
At this time, no arrests have been made, but investigations are still ongoing.
DC "This is an appalling crime committed against a very vulnerable victim," said Blair Patterson of Blackburn CID. Our investigations into the perpetrators of this fraud are ongoing. "I would like to ask anyone who saw a man matching the above description in the Roe Lee area of Blackburn around 1.10pm on Thursday (June 30) and captured him on CCTV, dashcam, or doorbell footage to get in touch with us as soon as possible." If you are offered the Rolex watch pictured for sale, I would like to request that local jewellers or pawn shop owners contact me. I would also like to request that you keep an eye out for any elderly or vulnerable customers who come into your stores and ask to buy an expensive watch. They may be making a legitimate purchase, but they may also be victims of this type of fraud." These con artists have no morals and will use a variety of tactics to trick victims into handing over money, bank information, or, in this case, a valuable watch. Scammers prey on the elderly and the vulnerable, so please alert your loved ones. It is critical to emphasise that genuine police officers will never ask for your bank account information, money, or to assist with investigations in this manner. If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the police or the bank, do not give out your account information or hand over any cash. If you have any doubts about an officer's identity, call the police at 101." Anyone with information is asked to contact police at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101, quoting case number 0692 of July 2, 2022.