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A LOCAL woman who was the victim of a telephone scam has warned others to be vigilant when given out personal details.
The woman, who would prefer not to be named, was contacted by a man claiming to be from her e-mail provider. She had experienced problems with her e-mails so when the man offered her £200 in compensation, she accepted and he asked for her bank details to pay the compensation.
The woman said, “The fool that I was, I gave him my bank details – it all seemed legitimate. But then, looking at my bank statement on my computer screen, it showed £2,200 not £200. Upon mentioning this apparent error, the scumbag told me it was his mistake, and gave me a sob story about losing his job unless I returned the £2,000 to him.
“Slowly but surely, they went about persuading me to go to the Post Office, fill in a Moneygram Transfer for someone in Armenia and to advise the Post Office clerk that I knew this person. Big mistake!
“Alarm bells then became loud drum sounds, so I played along with their ‘cunning plan’, but went via my bank who confirmed my suspicions and immediately stopped rogue access to my account which, needless to say contained not a penny more than I knew to be there, while I fended off several calls from the man trying to discover if I had fallen headlong into their nasty little trap.
“A little later I went to my building society and on hearing my woeful tale the counter clerk promptly rang her head office, who advised reporting the matter to the Police Fraud Squad, which she did for me there and then.
“A few days later, the perpetrators of the crime attempted to ‘borrow’ £10,000 from my account, which was obviously declined as the bank knew the situation.
“My son put right the rest of the situation, changed my password, retrieved outstanding correspondence, and everything seems to be running smoothly.
“I hope dear readers you will digest the above and be warned. I never thought I would (almost) get caught in this way, but these disgusting pieces of work are clever, although fortunately, in this instance not clever enough and I’ve been one of the lucky ones.
“My advice to you is to check everyone’s credentials, don’t be stupid enough to hand over details, put down the receiver and contact your bank or provider as soon as possible.
“Since relating this occurrence to a lot of people, I have been appalled at some of the dreadful incidents which have happened, often to the older ones among us and I am very, very angry not only at my own gullibility, but on behalf of those who are yet to be scammed by such evil people. Please, please, be careful.”
• Melksham Seniors are holding a meeting on 20th March about how to avoid scams.