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Every little helps - Tesco staff save pensioner from phone fraudsters

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Kath and her daughter Lise said that they were incredibly grateful to the staff from Tesco for spotting the scam
Kath and her daughter Lise said that they were incredibly grateful to the staff from Tesco for spotting the scam

STAFF at a Tesco superstore who saved a pensioner from being conned out of £1,500 in a phone scam have been thanked by her family.

The 87-year-old said that she felt like she had been “taken for a ride” after she was called by fraudsters posing as HMRC representatives who demanded she pay a fake debt with Google Pay cards.

The scammers told her there was a warrant out for her arrest and that she needed to pay them immediately – warning her not to tell anyone else about it.

The victim, who asked to be identified only as Kath, told the A&T: “I had just woken up from a nap and the phone rang.

"The caller said that they were from Inland Revenue and that I owed them £1,499. They said the best thing to do would be to go to Tesco and get Google Pay cards.

“I was still so tired so stupidly I gave them my mobile number. They told me to go and pick up the cards and not to tell anyone or look suspicious when doing it, and to call them once I had done it. Off I went, and they were calling my mobile the whole time.”

The Tesco superstore in Caird Avenue, New Milton
The Tesco superstore in Caird Avenue, New Milton

She drove to the New Milton Tesco store in Caird Avenue and collected up enough Google Play cards to pay the amount demanded.

“Luckily the checkout staff asked me why I had lots of the cards,” she continued. “I said I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone but it was for the Inland Revenue. They said ‘oh my, you are being caught in a scam’.”

Staff called the police and stayed with Kath, offering her a cup of tea while they waited for officers to arrive.

Kath’s daughter Lise Taylor (54) said: “We are hugely grateful to the Tesco staff for having noticing the scam. I am not sure if they are trained to deal with this sort of scenario but they dealt with it so well. They sat with mum for an hour and were really thoughtful.

“The scammers just pressure you so much that you don’t have time to think. It is a horrible, threatening and oppressive thing to do and they are getting so clever with their cons nowadays.

“My mum is not the sort of person that would be taken for a ride but when people are caught in a vulnerable moment it is hard to tell if something like this is real. A lot of people don’t tell others about it because they are embarrassed but the more people know the better.”

Kath added: “I could have jolly-well kicked myself. I was so ashamed to be as close as that to falling for one of these scams. Had I have been 100% with it, I would have known to have just put the phone down.

"Inland Revenue would never call you and I want people to be aware.”

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