Man foils scam­mer

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By NICKI DAVIDSON

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.’’

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