Residents of Anglesey have become the victims of a telephone based scam and have lost over £2,000. Local police have issued warnings to all residents in North Wales to be wary of phone fraudsters and other scams that have caused some victims to lose thousands.
Reports indicated that the criminals are misleading them by saying they have a cash sum due because of an insurance error. In some instances the fraudster has even claimed to be affiliated with a certain company. Those conducting the scam claim that to get the money ‘entitled’ to them, they must pay a upfront sum to release it, and once this has been paid the victim is told to expect a cheque.
The fraudster doesn’t ask for bank details but tells the caller to go to a Post Office and authorise a payment. Once done, the fraudster will call back the victim and ask for the number of the payment. Some have even fallen victim twice after being told to make a second payment on the premise the money they are owed has increased. Welsh police are asking people to report any matters related to this scam immediately.
“There are many ways the scam is operated and people simply need to refuse to make any payment of money then contact the police” states Stephen Watts, a DC out of Holyhead. Such variations the detective speaks of include victims being told they have won a lottery, that their debts can be cleared or they have won some other prize. Another official mentions the importance of calling the police if you have any suspicions about the legitimacy of the call.
Sadly, it is the elderly who fall victim most often and the police are working with vulnerable members of society to reduce their susceptibility to such scams. The police are advising people to be beware of callers, even if they seem to have private information about you. If you doubt the caller’s identity, make a call back to the switchboard of the company they claim to represent.
Never give out any personal or bank details as these can be used to steal your identity. If you want to stop all unsolicited calls you can contact the Telephone Preference Service and consider becoming ex-directory. There is a similar service to prevent spam postal mail. Both these services are available with no charge and can prevent fraudsters reaching you by both mail and phone.