A DORCHESTER woman is urging people to report phone scams after a man claiming to be from the government attempted to defraud her.
Maureen Whale, 74, received a call from someone who said she had been overcharged by Lloyd’s TSB, who Mrs Whale banks with, and that they had a cheque for her for £2,000.
They informed her that in order to receive the cheque she would have to pay £200 into a deposit machine.
Mrs Whale said: “He said I’d have to pay a government charge of £200 and then I would be called by a woman named Margaret and I had to give her a code over the phone to get the full £2,000.”
Mrs Whale said she became more suspicious when the fraudster named a location just down the road from her.
“I asked him where this deposit machine was and he said there was one round the corner from me in a corner shop on Maude’s Road, and that when I deposited the money it would give me a voucher with a code. You wouldn’t expect them to know where I am, even if they got lucky with guessing the name of my bank.
“I thought that it could be someone from round here but the fact that he didn’t name the government department and he had a strange accent for someone called Andrew convinced me it was a fake.
“I decided to go along with pretending I was willing to transfer the money. I took down the number for this woman and went straight down to my bank and my bank manager called the number for this ‘Margaret’.
“As soon as he told them he was from Lloyd’s bank they put the phone down.”
Mrs Whale says she reported the incident to Action Fraud and because of the detailed information she had they sent her a letter thanking her for her diligence.
• A spokesman for Action Fraud said: “This type of fraud is known as Vishing and is unfortunately quite common, as is the fact that fraudsters tend to target the elderly or vulnerable.
“Vishing involves a fraudster making a phone call to a potential victim, posing as someone from a bank or building society fraud investigation team, the police or another legitimate organisation such as a telephone or internet provider or a Government department.
“They try to obtain financial information which often includes credit/debit card details (including PIN), bank account details and personal information such as full name, date of birth or address. This is then used by the fraudster to gain access to their victim’s finances.
“They can also deceive the victim into transferring money themselves from their own bank account to one which is accessible to the fraudster.”
“If you feel you are a victim of “Vishing” call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online tool to report the fraud and receive a police crime reference number – as per the elderly lady mentioned, this will allow the information regarding your crime to be assessed by the police."