Police Issue Safety Advice after OAP’s Targeted by Scammers on The Isle of Wight

Police have issued crime prevention advice after a number of reports of telephone scams on the Isle of Wight.

Two similar incidents have been reported to us this week. An 80 year-old woman and a 67 year-old man, both from Newport, were contacted separately by suspicious callers who said they owed outstanding taxes. Both were advised to pay by purchasing I Tunes vouchers and providing the serial numbers to the caller at a later date.

In addition a 76 year-old man from Ryde was contacted by a caller asking them to send money to Kenya and Macedonia via Western Union and by purchasing Steam vouchers at Game stores and providing the serial numbers to the caller.

Investigations are underway into these incidents with our colleagues from the Isle of Wight’s Trading Standards team and Action Fraud.

Inspector Adam Henderson-Parish said: “I’m keen that no-one else falls victim to a similar type of phone call from someone that they do not know. It’s always important to remember that legitimate callers will not ask you for money there and then without providing proper identification to you, and will not pressure you into using unusual methods to provide money to them. Never share details such as passwords or account details with a caller and the simplest advice I can give to elderly or vulnerable people who are unsure about a caller is to hang up and terminate the call/

“We’re now undertaking enquiries to see if the reports are linked and are providing advice to the victims to ensure they do not receive similar calls again.

“I’d urge anyone with elderly family members on the Isle of Wight to share our crime prevention advice with them. Anyone with information that could help our enquiries or who receives one of these calls should call 101 asking for Inspector Adam Henderson-Parish quoting Operation Signature”.

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 Operation Signature. If a crime is in progress, please call 999.

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