Residents have been warned to be vigilant after two people in East Lancashire were “cruelly” tricked into buying and handing over Rolex watches, having been deceived into thinking they were helping a fraud investigation.

The first incident saw a man in his 50s from Darwen conned into buying a £9,750 Rolex watch from a store in Blackburn.

The fraudsters, who falsely claimed to be from the Met Police, told him that they suspected the shop was selling fake watches and they needed his help in their investigation.

The man bought the watch and a courier came to collect it later the same day as ‘evidence’ on Monday (October 4).

Officers said the fraudsters also attempted to defraud the victim’s mother, who is in her 80s, by asking her to withdraw £8,000 as part of their bogus investigation into bank fraud.

They also told her there had been fraud on her bank card and to call 101.

After she had put down the receiver, they remained on the line in a further attempt to convince her she was talking to the police.

Detectives investigating scams across Lancashire have made three arrests. (Credit: Lancashire Police)

Det Sgt Steve Craig, of Lancashire Police, said: “These fraudsters have no morals and will use multiple tactics in a bid to con victims into either handing over money, their bank details or in these cases valuable watches.

“Scammers target elderly and vulnerable people so please make your loved ones aware.”

He added: “It is important to stress that genuine police officers will never…

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