Shop worker spots scam and saves elderly victim hundreds of pounds

Shop worker at a Wilko store spots scam and saves elderly victim hundreds of pounds.

TEAM Supervisor Rachel Oscroft at a branch in Kimberley became alarmed when an elderly customer asked to buy £600 worth of Amazon vouchers.

The pensioner explained he had been called by a woman claiming to be from HMRC.

The scammer told him he owed more than £500 in unpaid taxes from between 1950 and 1980.

He was initially offered appointments in Leicester and Sheffield to pay the bill, however, he was then told he could buy “a handful of £100 Amazon vouchers” to pay the bill and someone would collect them.

Wilko staff have been ‘trained to spot potential scams’ and intervened.

Rachel said she became concerned when she noticed the man looking “confused” in store as he tried to buy a large quantity of vouchers.

She said: “The man was clearly very distressed when he came into the store to purchase the six Amazon vouchers.

“Thankfully I was well aware of these kind of scams and rang the police straight away.

“I was delighted to help the man not to lose any money.

“He was seen wandering about the shop looking confused, so naturally asked if he was okay and we were obviously very worried when he told us the full situation.

“He was so worried and scared, but thankfully we got it through to him that it was a scam and we could help him and calm him down.

“We’ve had training on how to spot the signs, so we knew instantly when he told us. We’ve had this previously where a woman nearly lost out on money. It’s very frustrating to hear that the vulnerable are being targeted still.”

Fiona Price, a Fraud Protect and Prevent Officer at Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Fraudsters are always looking to exploit people and in this case, it is fortunate that Rachel raised her concerns with us straight away.

“The woman on the phone pretending to work from HMRC was so convincing and no one should feel ashamed of falling for scams like this. The people behind them are very clever and deceiving.

“Rachel did a fantastic job to spot this and report it. We are now working closely with the victim to make sure there is appropriate support for them moving forward.”

If you are a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud via their website:

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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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