Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION -

JUDY GILL via email

I was in­ter­ested in your ar­ti­cle about scams as I had ‘De­tec­tive Hart’ on the phone.

It was not about coun­ter­feit money but ap­par­ently my debit card had been used that morn­ing to buy two ex­pen­sive items. Nat­u­rally I said that I had not been the pur­chaser, nor my hus­band or fam­ily.

He knew my name and ad­dress (how?) and talked for a while be­fore giv­ing me the 161 phone num­ber which I had to call to con­firm the de­tails he had given me about him­self. I said that I should hang up first but he de­nied this.

I was be­gin­ning to smell a rat but did phone 161 which was an­swered by a sec­ond rather more ed­u­cat­ed­sound­ing man.

He was no doubt at some point go­ing to ask me for my card de­tails but I did then hang up.

The phone rang im­me­di­ately with with­held in the win­dow. When the an­swer ma­chine started, he hung up and did so twice more be­fore giv­ing up. Mean­while I had looked up the po­lice non-emer­gency num­ber which turned out to be, not 161, but 101.

I rang and spoke to a po­lice woman be­fore she put me on to the fraud depart­ment.

They spent a while tak­ing all the de­tails – he had heard the name Hart be­fore – and I sub­se­quently re­ceived a let­ter from them, thank­ing me for let­ting them know and giv­ing me num­bers and in­for­ma­tion.

It ap­pals me that el­derly peo­ple, not quite as cyn­i­cal and worldly-wise as me, are be­ing ripped off like this.

I hope that your ar­ti­cle has warned other peo­ple in the area. I know that, if the per­son on the phone says that they are from the po­lice, one is in­clined to be­lieve them but, sadly, one should not.

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