Man foils scammer
Be aware a nasty phone scam that has the potential to swindle you out of thousands of dollars, has resurfaced .
In November the Chronicle ran a story about a scam where a caller claiming to be from the Inland Revenue Department phoned to tell people they were owed tax refunds but a ‘‘fee’’ was required to release the money. Last Tuesday a man tried something similar with Matamata couple Chris and Vicki Thompson.
Mr Thompson said they received the call about 11am.
‘‘He introduced himself with an Indian-sounding name and said he was from the government department of something, something. I couldn’t catch the rest. I had to ask him four or five times to repeat himself.’’
But alarm bells rang when the caller told him he had overpaid tax of $3500 and they wanted to refund it but needed to confirm his name first.
‘‘We run a business through an accountant and have no direct dealings with the IRD. I knew what was coming next, he’d be asking for bank account details, so I said to him if you are from a government department you should know my name,’’ Mr Thompson said. ‘‘He started getting shirty, asking me what my first name was. And he kept calling me Thompson, not even Mr Thompson, just Thompson and getting aggressive and loud.’’
After a few minutes Mr Thomp- son told the caller not to phone again and the man hung up.
‘‘We called the police to let them know and Telecom but they couldn’t trace the number.’’
Mrs Thompson, who listened to the ‘‘ bizarre’’ call on another phone believed the caller swore at one point when it became obvious her husband would not be drawn into the scam.
She said they now wanted to alert others to such situations.
‘‘We just want to protect vulnerable members of the community.’’