Suffolk Coastal: Warning to be vigilant against telephone scams after woman duped out of �5k

MEMBERS of the public are being warned to stay extra alert for telephone scams after a woman was duped out of more than �5,000.

The victim was contacted by a bogus caller claiming to represent a well known company that deals with payment protection insurance (PPI).

The woman who received the call later contacted Leiston, Saxmundham and District Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) for guidance but by then it was too late.

The bogus caller is understood to have sounded very plausible - especially since he appeared to already have some of the details concerning the victim’s potential PPI claim.

Nick Mayo, manager of the Leiston, Saxmundham and District CAB, said: “However genuine the caller may appear, never give out any bank or other details about yourself to callers and don’t agree to pay them any money before checking out who you are actually dealing with.

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“If you get such a call decline to discuss it but ask for a telephone number and contact details so you can check out the caller’s validity.

“Alternatively, ask them to write to you so that you can have time to think about it. The same applies to e-mail scams - do not respond at all unless you know for certain who is sending you the message and if in doubt, check it out.

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“If you have any concerns you can ask for help from the CAB who can also advise you where to go for help in pursuing a PPI claim yourself.”

Police have issued a number of warnings since the start of this month urging people to be on their guard. A 79-year-old man from Lowestoft was called by a man who said he had �3,000 waiting for him from a PPI claim but in order to receive it, he would have to pay three amounts of �150. The victim was asked to obtain Ukash vouchers and then call the man back to give the codes.

Officers have also received calls about a fraud which involves victims spotting an advert on the Gumtree website for an item up for sale at a bargain price. After the victim makes contact using the email address supplied or via text message they receive an email – said to be from Parcelforce or the Royal Mail – stating that the item will be delivered on receipt of an Ukash or Paysafe voucher.

A woman from Halesworth was also called by someone claiming to be from the Ministry of Justice who promised she would receive a cheque for more than �3,000 if she sent a �99 Ukash voucher.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police warned: “Always be extra vigilant when dealing with unsolicited calls. Never give out personal information or bank details.

“If the offer sounds too good to be true then it almost certainly is.”

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