A confused 92-year-old pensioner was conned out of £15,000 in a lottery scam.
Hampshire Police say they have learned that the pensioner was called by someone he did not know and persuaded to buy 75 Irish lottery tickets. The victim was advised that a good win was common.
A spokesman said: ‘When the victim agreed he was asked for his bank debit card details to ensure the tickets could be bought on his behalf. He was told evidence of the tickets purchase would be sent to him through the post.
‘A few days later he was contacted again and asked if he would be interested in other lotteries in Europe and Australia. The victim said he might be and he was told that some tickets would be purchased for him in the Italian Lottery and in the Australian.
‘Over three months a total of nine further purchases were made, most without the victim’s agreement. The victim contacted his bank when he realised that money had been taken without his consent. An investigation has now revealed that more than £15,000 has been taken from his account.’
The first call to the man, who lives in Alton, was made in March last year.
Inspector Louise Rooks said: “This matter has been referred to the national Action Fraud team and is the only report of this type that we have received in East Hampshire at the moment. However I’m keen that you should contact us on 101 to assist the investigation if you have been harrassed by someone trying to sell you lottery tickets over the phone.
“If you have elderly relatives or neighbours, please share this information with them”.
Hampshire Constabulary gave the following advice:
1. Never give out any personal information about your bank account to anybody over the phone.
2. Never give your PIN number out in any form (including typing in to a keypad).
3. If someone calls claiming to be a police officer, ask for their identification number and police force. Hang up the call and advise that you will call them back using the 101 number. A genuine police officer will not mind waiting while you check. Call them back from a different phone if possible or wait at least 10 minutes before making the call, to ensure they have not left the line open.
4. If you have given out information which could compromise your bank account security in any way, call your bank up to cancel your cards as soon as possible.
5. Never hand over money to someone at the door to be sent off elsewhere.
6. If someone comes to your door claiming to be a police officer or staff member, always ask for identification and make a note of their identification number. Ask them to wait while you verify their identity. Close the door and call 101. Dial 999 if it is an emergency.
7. Anyone who is concerned about similar incidents or has information relating to these incidents should contact police by calling 101. If a crime is in progress, please call 999.