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OAP falls prey to telephone scam

Conman tried to take £4,000 from Kingsclere pensioner's bank account

Charlotte Booth

Reporter:

Charlotte Booth

police

AN 85-year old Kingsclere resident was recently the victim of a telephone scam which resulted in nearly £4,000 being removed from his bank account. 

He received a call from someone claiming to be from BT.

After a 90-minute call, the victim realised £3,950 had been taken from his bank account.

He did not authorise the payment and it is believed the caller gained remote access to his account.

Luckily, in this instance the bank was able to stop the payment.  

Such scams are not unusual and the Consumer Protection Partnership is leading a national Scams Awareness Month in July in a bid to beat the scammers.

Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards team is urging residents to be vigilant with telephone calls from people claiming to be from Talk Talk, BT or other telecommunications or software providers like Microsoft, Apple or Windows.

A spokesman for Hampshire County Council Trading Standards said there had been a slight increase in the number of calls regarding this form of telephone scam. The conversations vary, but usually the caller will attempt to persuade the resident there is a problem with their router or there is a virus on their PC.

The aim is to get the resident to log on to their computer and for the fraudsters to gain remote access.

The scammers aim to steal money from the victim or place malicious software on to their computer for which they can extort money for its removal. 

Linda Harvey, advice services manager at Tadley’s Citizens Advice said: “Being scammed can ruin people’s finances. 

“During Scams Awareness Month we’re encouraging people to play their part in preventing scams by reporting them and telling others about them.

“People can also come and see us or call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service if they want advice on whether something is a genuine deal or a scam, or for advice if they have been scammed.”

Hampshire County Council Trading Standards say: “No matter how tempting the offer may be, or how genuine the caller appears to be, remember, the telephone is a form of faceless communication.

“It could be any person, calling from anywhere in the world.”

 Residents are warned not to: 

  • Believe there is a problem with their router or that a new one is due.
  • Believe they are due compensation from the caller.
  • Log on to their computer for the caller.
  • n Allow the caller remote access of their computer.
  • n Log into their online banking to receive a payment from the  caller.
  • n Make a payment to compensate the caller if they claim to have ‘overpaid’.
  • n Believe the caller can cut off the internet or telephone – they can’t.

 

If you have been a victim of telephone fraud, or any other scam you can report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk

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