Tayside Police are urging householders to be on their guard after a woman was almost conned out of £200 by a cold caller who promised her thousands of pounds in return.
The 72-year-old woman was called by a man with an Asian accent who claimed to be with the Ministry for Justice on the morning of Wednesday, November 16.
He said that due to historical overcharges the woman was entitled to a compensation cheque for several thousand pounds. However, to cover the tax she would have to purchase Ukash vouchers from a store and provide him with the serial numbers.
While she did purchase vouchers, shop staff warned her that it might be a scam and the woman ultimately called the police.
Ukash is an electronic payment system that allows the user to carry out online transactions without using payment cards Users pay for the voucher at convenience stores or retailers using the PayPoint/Epay/Payzone facilities.
A Tayside Police spokesman said: “People should always be extremely cautious about providing personal and financial details over the phone, particularly in instances where they have been cold-called.
“We receive reports about householders and businesses receiving unsolicited calls from people who claim to be from well-known, reputable companies, or financial institutions. Details that have been requested can include cardholder’s name, card numbers, passwords and card expiry dates.
“While it is common practice to carry out transactions over the phone, we would advise people not to share financial details with a cold caller.
“Be suspicious of all such calls and always make every effort to ensure that the person at end of the line is who they claim to be, represent who they claim to represent and are legitimate and reputable.
“If you are unsure, take details of their company so you can check their credentials.
“Above all else if you have concerns or suspicions hang up and contact the police on 0300 111 2222.”