Message sent by
James Pusey (Police, Corporate Communications, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight)
We’re issuing crime prevention advice after an 86 year-old woman was contacted by a suspicious caller in Hill Head.The victim received a telephone call from a man she did not know on Friday 15 September. The man told her to buy £400 of ITunes gift cards from the Co-Op store in Lee-on-the-Solent. He had already called the store to make sure they had the gift cards and told them to reserve them and he would send a family member to collect them. The scammer said to the victim that she was entitled to compensation of £800 and to claim that money she had to buy the ITunes vouchers. He said they would call later to get the codes and then they would send the money to her bank account. The scammer booked a taxi which collected her and took her to the store. She had to pay for the taxi too.
The staff at the store became suspicious when the victim spoke to them in the store and called police. An investigation has now been launched.
Investigating officer PC Jonathan Needham said: “I’d like to thank the staff in the store who alerted us straight away, which enabled us to ensure that the elderly lady did not fall victim to this scam. They became suspicious when she produced a note stating that she needed to buy ITunes vouchers for her personal use. The lady stated that she didn’t know what an ITunes voucher was and seemed confused about the circumstances.
“We have received a second report of similar circumstances this morning (Tuesday 19 September) relating to a 75 year-old woman in the Alver Village area of Gosport. Both incidents relate to calls made from outside of Hampshire. I’m keen that no-one else falls victim to a similar type of phone call from someone that they do not know. We’re now undertaking enquiries to see if the reports are linked and are providing advice to the victims to ensure she doesn’t receive similar calls again.
“I’d urge anyone with elderly family members in Lee-on-the-Solent to share our crime prevention advice with them. Anyone with information that could help our enquiries should call 101 quoting 44170361795”.
We are reminding people to protect themselves by using the following advice:
- Never give personal or bank account details to anyone who contacts you unexpectedly
- Never tell anyone your PIN number
- If you have given out information which could compromise your bank security in any way, call your bank to cancel your cards as soon as possible
- Never hand over your card, money or valuables to someone at the door to be sent off elsewhere
- If you are concerned about an unsolicited phone call from someone that you do not know, who asks you to hand over money please report this to police as a suspicious incident by calling 101.
Anyone who is concerned about similar incident should contact police by calling 101 and quoting 44170361795. If a crime is in progress, please call 999.