Police are calling for vigilance after a man, who claimed to be a soldier, contacted the victim online and persuaded her to send him her online banking details.
After knowing each other for a period of time, the conman claimed his account was frozen in a sinister attempt to gain access to her accounts. He then used the details to send money to various individuals, scamming her out of just over £20,500.
While detectives are working to establish if any of the money can be recovered, the public are urged to beware of similar fraudulent attempts.
Chief Superintendent Simon Walls said: “No matter how big or small the amount of money is that a victim loses, every loss is felt by those targeted. However, this scam, where a victim has been swindled out of a significant amount of money, shows why it’s so important for people to be vigilant. This woman trusted this man who unfortunately was only after one thing – her money. That is devastating for her.
“If anything, this is a stark reminder of why it is so important for families to have conversations with their loved ones about scams.”
Another scam was avoided on Tuesday 15 October, when a person was contacted by people claiming to represent HMRC informing them they owe money.
Superintendent Walls continued: “When it comes to scams, our message is simple – never ever disclose your personal or banking details to anyone over the phone or online, no matter how convincing they sound to you.
“Never disclose them to any unauthorised person or allow anyone access to them via your computer.”
Anyone concerned by unsolicited calls, emails or letters is urged to report it to Action Fraud via their website, by phoning 0300 123 2040 or calling police on non-emergency line 101.