UK scammer chased on foot through Auckland

Armed police attended the mall where a young woman was reportedly injured. File photo: RNZ
File photo: RNZ
A man who scammed people out of nearly $300,000 by pretending to be a police officer has been arrested.

On Monday the 25-year-old man, a UK national, was chased by police through Auckland central on foot.

The scam involved a call to a landline by someone pretending to be a police officer and providing a fake badge number.

There were 18 Aucklanders, aged between 56 and 90, with the majority over 80, allegedly duped out of money.

"The scam will always involve this so-called officer asking for financial information or asking you to withdraw cash to be collected as part of an investigation into banks," Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Bolton said.

The man faces 22 charges of obtains by deception, attempting to obtain by deception and escaping custody.

He was due to appear in the Auckland District Court on Tuesday.

His bail will be opposed by police.

"We will allege in court that this man, who only arrived in New Zealand in early June, was on his way at the time to collect more cash from a previous victim," Bolton said.

"Instead, real detectives turned up at the victim's doorstep to advise him he was about to be scammed out of $20,000 in cash.

"Financial Crime investigators from all three policing districts' fraud teams in Tāmaki Makaurau have been working together to piece together this offending, and this is a great outcome."

A total of $297,700 in cash was lost by victims.