NOTE: This content is old - Published: Monday, Dec 5th, 2011.
An elderly Wrexham man has been conned out of over £3000 by a caller claiming to be from the Ministry of Justice.
The male caller told the resident that he was owed money as a result of miss-sold payment protection insurance.
Wrexham Trading Standards is urging residents to be on the guard after the man was then duped into making payments totalling more than £3,000 over a period of three days, with different excuses being given each time for why more money was needed.
Some of the reasons included the need to pay lawyers and that the sum owed to the resident had increased substantially.
In this case the resident called a halt when a further £2200 was requested by the fraudster.
The criminals involved have been telephoning consumers all over the country, using the Ministry of Justice’s name to win their trust.
The callers offer to help reclaim bank charges or win compensation but victims have to make payments in order to secure the money they are told is due to them.
In this instance upfront payments were made by Western Union transfer or Ukash voucher, which are popular methods for conmen because tracing where money goes is very difficult if not impossible.
Trading Standards in Wrexham are warning people to be on their guard against this type of con. If you receive suspicious calls like this do not under any circumstances make any payments and report incidents either to Consumer Direct on 08454 040506 or to the police on 101.
If you have given your bank details to a caller like this, please contact your bank as soon as possible to check for unauthorised transactions.
Councillor David Bithell Deputy Leader Of Wrexham Council said:
“We always warn the public that they should never deal with unidentifiable people or traders, in person, over the phone and online.
“We are urging members of the public to be vigilant following this scam. Please stop and think carefully before engaging with people you don’t know and handing over money, and remember, if it looks too good to be true then it probably is.”
Scammers deliberately pose as being from highly trusted organisations in order to catch people off guard. Organisations whose names have been used to win people’s trust include:
• The Ministry of Justice
• The Office of Fair Trading
• HM Revenue and Customs
• Other government departments
• Authorised claims management firms
• High street banks