BEWARE OF THE TELEPHONE SCAMMERS
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.