Online fraudsters have ‘London link’

Trudy Cosgrove with her caravan home.
Trudy Cosgrove with her caravan home.

The hunt for sophisticated internet fraudsters has revealed a possible link to London criminals, police say.

After nearly five weeks of frustration, Trudy Cosgrove hopes the new evidence will see the return of her life savings.

Mrs Cosgrove was swindled out of £12,000 when she bought her dream RV motorhome after seeing it on an online classified ads site.

After checking the vehicle’s registration online and exchanging a series of emails with “Anna”, Mrs Cosgrove transferred the cash to a Barclays Bank account via PayPal.

However, the vehicle was not delivered and PayPal had no record of the transaction. Barclays said the cash had been immediately withdrawn and the account closed.

She said: “The theft has left me living in a caravan, and I can see no way out other than finding the thieves.”

Her case has been taken up by the Metropolitan Police. A Met Police spokeswoman said: “We believe the account was opened in a London branch.

“The officer in charge is looking for connections as they do believe this might be linked to other crimes.”

A Barclays spokesman said: “We will of course assist the police with their enquiries if approached to do so.”