Woman Saved By Tesco Staff While Buying £1,500 iTunes Vouchers For Scammers
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We all know the scam warnings. 'Don't let anyone in the house that doesn't have a badge'. 'Delete any emails asking for your bank details, and if they say they're from Barclays, they're not'. 'Put the phone down on any nuisance calls'. 'Don't leave the house alone, ever'. The list is endless.
And we're often extra wary when it comes to our elders, whether it's our grandparents or the old lady next door - and especially when it comes to technology. Many of the older generation can struggle with newer tech, so we feel like we have a duty of care to watch out for them.
That's exactly how these Tesco workers felt when a 65-year-old shopper was contacted by someone claiming to be from the HMRC and threatening her with jail if she didn't pay missed taxes of £96,000 ($128,304) immediately.
How do these devils sleep at night?
The caller asked the woman, who remains anonymous, to purchase over a thousand pounds' worth of iTunes vouchers from a Tesco store in Grimsby, Lincolnshire - well, this is starting to sound legit.
Let's recap - £1,500 ($2,004) worth of iTunes vouchers and the £96,000 tax will be forgotten?
As questionable as it seems, in the midst of her panic, the woman went to the store to splash her cash on the vouchers - but luckily she was stopped by quick-thinking staff who recognised the scam, according to the Mirror.
The woman said: "I was absolutely terrified. He said that I owed the government money which I needed to pay immediately or I would be arrested.
"He warned me that if I didn't do what he said, I could be fined £96,000 and we could lose our house or my husband's car. He told me that if I spoke to anyone on the way, I would also be arrested."
This is starting to sound like something from Die Hard with a Vengeance.
The woman went to the shop, but luckily staff noticed what was happening thanks to widespread publicity about the scam and called the police, reports Grimsby Live.
What absolute angels.
The woman added: "They asked me what the vouchers were for, and I told them it was for my grandchildren. When they asked again, I burst out crying and told them what was really happening."
The store called the police and the manager even spoke with the conman on the phone, telling him to leave the woman alone.
Shockingly, she was the second person who had been targeted that day, and the scammer had asked for even more from the other victim, who was also prevented from making the purchase.
The police warned residents earlier this month about scams involving gift cards or iTunes vouchers.
A statement from the force said: "We have received a number of recent reports of fraudsters contacting victims via telephone and demanding payment by way of gift card or iTunes vouchers.
"A recent victim gave away over £200 by purchasing iTunes vouchers and providing the codes to the suspect."
Clearly someone somewhere is trying to build a very impressive iTunes account somewhere, but Humberside Police are advising victim's to put the phone down immediately and contact them on 101.
Bloody hell, scam artists are everywhere nowadays, aren't they? That 'trust no one' advice is starting to sound increasingly helpful.