UK & World News

  • 20 January 2014, 8:25

100,000 Art Owner Falls Victim To Scam

Police are investigating a fraud scam which saw a 100,000 painting stolen from an 89-year-old woman's home in London.

Detectives say the woman was contacted by telephone by a person claiming her bank cards had been used in a crime.

The woman was told she needed to call her bank immediately. She tried to call the bank, but the caller had not hung up and stayed on the line.

The victim then believed she was speaking to her bank - but she was still speaking to the original caller.

The woman was told that someone would come to her house to collect her cards.

The victim was also asked whether she had any items of value in the house. She mentioned a100,000 painting by Samuel Palmer, called The Comet of 1858.

Police say a man, believed to be aged in his 30s, around 5ft 10ins with dark hair and an English accent, later came to the home and stole the painting, bank cards and jewellery.

Detectives are appealing for help to track down the perpetrators of the fraud, which occurred at the woman's home in South Kensington on January 18.

The Metropolitan Police said: "Neither your bank nor the police would ever ring you and state that they are coming to your home to pick up your card, so never hand it over to anyone who comes to collect it.

"Your bank will never ask you to authorise anything by entering your pin into the telephone handset.

"Never share your pin with anyone - the only times you should use your pin is at a cash machine or when you use a chip and pin machine in a shop/restaurant.

"If you think you have been the victim of a fraud or scam of this nature report the crime to your local police."

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