East Devon pensioner targeted in criminal phone scam

POLICE in East Devon have warned residents to be wary of a fraudster who swindled an ill pensioner out of �650 in a telephone scam.

POLICE in East Devon have warned residents to be wary of a fraudster who swindled an ill pensioner out of �650 in a telephone scam.

Sidmouth and Ottery residents have been urged to be on their guard after an elderly woman from the region was bombarded by calls from a man, with an ‘Asian’ or

‘Indian’ accent, claiming to represent the Ministry of Justice.

He said her bank had overcharged her, and she was due a refund payment of �4,500, but would need to pay a refundable �650 up front to secure the cash.

“She initially refused, but after three weeks and around 12 phone calls from the suspect, she succumbed,” said a force spokesperson.

“She and her husband were in ill health and the male eventually wore her objections down.”

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The criminal specified she should pay the up front fee by going to Co-Op and paying the money for a ‘UKASH’ voucher via the ‘PayPoint’ machine.

This generates a voucher with a unique code which the victim then passed to the suspect, enabling him to withdraw the cash anywhere in the world with a ‘PayPoint’ machine.

“Anyone who is contacted in similar fashion is strongly advised not to part with any money and if in any doubt to speak to their bank in person,” said the spokesman.