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Letchworth man arrested in connection with online fraud offences

20 Nov 2020
  • 34 year old man from Letchworth arrested on suspicion of fraud offences

  • More than 50 victims reported a scam on Twitter

  • Victims lost more than £5,000  

A 34-year-old man from Letchworth has been arrested in connection with seven fraud offences.

The man was arrested in connection with numerous reports from victims who claimed to have been duped into sending money after false claims were made on social media. Several social media accounts on Twitter were asking for donations to help individuals claiming extreme poverty due to a variety of reasons, including the pandemic, a family death and illness.

Officers from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Serious Fraud and Cyber Unit investigated and believe at least 50 people made donations, totalling in the region of £5000, to the individual via the GoFundMe, Just Giving and PayPal sites.   

Detective Inspector Rob Burns, from the Serious Fraud and Cyber Unit, said: “We have seen a big rise in online fraud since the start of the pandemic but this is something a bit new. Online fraudsters can be very convincing and often employ a range of tactics to get people to part with their money. Exploiting people’s sympathy and desire to help is just one method used. You should never pay money to anyone unless you are sure they are legitimate. Many of those who are fooled by fraudsters cannot afford to lose the money and can suffer from serious hardship and emotional distress as a result.”

The man has been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

Visit www.actionfraud.police.uk or www.herts.police.uk/protectyourmoney for advice on avoiding scams.

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