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Woman hits out after dad among victims of scam

POLICE are once again reminding the public to be extra vigilant following a number of scams in south Warwickshire over the past few weeks which have targeted the elderly.

Stratford resident Karen Williams has described the people behind the scams as “despicable” after her 78-year-old father was left seriously ill by a number of scams which he fell victim to within the last few months.

Karen did not wish for her father to be identified to save him further trauma but, she warned, anyone with elderly relatives should be on the lookout for scams because of the immense distress they cause.

“My dad has not been well for some years. We didn’t realise there was something wrong with him but his behavior changed and he was very upset about something. Eventually he told us about his scamming experience even though he was scared to do so. Older people hide these things and it has definitely affected his health,” Karen told the Herald.

A few months ago Karen’s dad was “bombarded” by three different PPI scams that she believes were made through phone calls to his home. In one instance a “smartly dressed man” was at her dad’s front door asking him to sign paperwork within 40 minutes of putting the phone down.

The situation became so bad that Karen had to turn to Citizens Advice Bureau for help.

“They contacted the PPI firms involved and the calls stopped fortunately no money was lost,” said Karen.

However, the nightmare wasn’t over, as she explains.

”On Monday this week, my father nearly fell victim to an iTunes scam when he had a series of persistent phone calls saying he had been awarded £2000 in PPI from the high court in London. They said somebody would be at his house in an hour to take him to one of four shops in Wellesbourne to claim the money in iTunes vouchers or something to that effect. Thankfully he phoned me and I said it was a scam. When the bloke then rang again, mum said it was a scam and she would call the police if anyone came to the house - funny enough the phone went dead. Be warned and look after our older vulnerable folk who are preyed upon by this scum!”

In a separate incident in Alcester last Tuesday, police said an elderly male resident received a telephone call from someone allegedly from HMRC. The male was instructed to purchase £4000 worth of iTunes vouchers as soon as possible in order to settle a tax bill. The male unfortunately believed this request to be real and went to Alcester Post Office to purchase the vouchers. Thankfully the staff at the Post Office immediately recognised this to be a scam and Action Fraud was called. No money or private details were exchanged with the offenders.

Last week a Stratford woman in her 60s handed over a considerable amount of money to an Inland Revenue conman after she fell victim to the iTunes scam.

Detective Sergeant Jordan Baker of Warwickshire Police said: “Fraudsters were beginning to use iTunes gift cards to collect money from victims because they can be easily redeemed and easily sold on.”

Karen Williams said most elderly people have no idea what an iTunes voucher is and urged people – particularly the elderly – not to give any personal or bank details to anyone over the phone or cold calling at their front door

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