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Age UK Hertfordshire issues telephone scam warning

Elderly woman almost conned out of £5,000


ever give personal details or bank details over the phone Image by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Never give personal details or bank details over the phone
Image by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

If it hadn’t been for the alertness of a bank cashier, a “frail” Hertfordshire woman would have been conned out of thousands of pounds following a telephone scam.

Age UK Hertfordshire is urging anyone with elderly relatives or elderly neighbours to warn them of the scam.

The woman, who is in her mid-seventies, received a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Metropolitan Police. During the call the caller asked her where she banked. They also tried to get her to reveal her personal details. The woman became suspicious and hung up.

A few weeks later she received another call, again from someone claiming to be from the Metropolitan Police. This time the caller told the woman a watch had been paid for using her bank details. The caller said the watch had been recovered, but that they needed more money in order to catch the culprit. The caller told the woman that she needed to withdraw £5,000 in cash from her bank and they would come to her home to collect it.

The woman, who is described as “frail” became so worried that she went to her bank and told the cashier that she wanted to withdraw £5,000 in cash.

The bank assistant became suspicious and asked the woman what she was planning to do with so much money. The woman explained what had happened. The bank assistant offered to check her account to see if there had been a transaction that could have been for a watch. There wasn’t. At that point she realised it was a scam.

Age UK Hertfordshire says the scam came to light at one of the organisation's lunch clubs when the woman told her story to a friend.

Age UK reported the incident to Hertfordshire Constabulary via the Hertfordshire Online Watch Link (OWL) network and alerted Hertfordshire Trading Standards. Trading Standards then put the woman on their list of vulnerable people who are at higher risk of scams.

Relatives of elderly people who might be taken in by such scams are urged to contact their loved ones and warn them not to be fooled by calls from people claiming to be acting on their behalf and asking for money. Age UK say the Metropolitan Police would never ask for money.




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