The council’s trading standards team is warning about a phone scam targeting pensioners, after a South Croydon woman was duped out of £650 worth of iTunes vouchers.
The woman was telephoned out of the blue by a man who said she had won a £5,000 prize… but she needed to buy the music vouchers to complete her claim.
The victim bought the vouchers and read the codes over the phone to the scammer, who then fleeced her out of the £650.
The con merchants are choosing iTunes because the vouchers are untraceable, unrefundable and are easy to sell on.
Another scam, this time involving a bogus inheritance, was averted when the target, a Coulsdon man in his 70s, contacted trading standards officers. He had received a letter suggesting he would inherit up to $9.75million from an unfamiliar distant relative’s will if he confidentially telephoned a Hong Kong number and paid a release fee.
As part of Scams Awareness Month, Croydon Council’s trading standards team is warning residents over 70 that they are most likely to both be targeted by scams and become repeat victims. Telephone frauds that the over-70s could face include fake investments, phoney prize draws or lottery wins, and bank courier card scams.
Trading standards advice to avoid these scams includes:
• Say no to cold-call investments and pension reviews
• If you haven’t bought a ticket, you can’t win it
• You shouldn’t have to pay anything to get a prize
• If you’re contacted out of the blue, be suspicious
• Your bank will never ask you for your PIN or your online banking password.
For more information, call the Citizens’ Advice consumer service on 03454 040506.
If what you are reporting is a scam this will automatically be reported to trading standards officers.
Report scams and suspected scams to Action Fraud 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk. If debit cards, online banking or cheques are involved, contact your bank or credit card company.
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