AN ELDERLY couple say they were conned out of £500 by crooks posing as financial advisers offering PPI repayments.
Criminals called Derek and Brenda Clark’s home in Toronto Road, Buckland, on two separate occasions, claiming they could obtain a refund for payment protection insurance fees that the Clarks had made in the past.
Each time the Clarks were offered a payment of thousands of pounds into their bank account in return for a payment of £200 on the first occasion and £300 the second time.
The couple say they went to the Co-op on New Road, Buckland, and paid into an account with details they were given on the phone, but never received any money in return.
Mr Clark, 72, said: ‘I felt sick when I realised it was a con. I’m a pensioner and I struggle to live as it is so this is going to leave me really short.
‘I’ve worked all my life and I had to put a lot of hours in to get that money, and now someone else has just taken it away from me. That makes me so angry.’
Mrs Clark, 67, says she paid the cash the first time, after a conman convinced her that £200 was needed upfront for tax fees for a transfer of the £2,000 he claimed she was entitled to.
Shortly after she had a heart attack and was staying in hospital when Mr Clark was targeted.
Unaware his wife had already forked out, Mr Clark says he paid £300 into an account believing he would receive £3,260 in return.
Mrs Clark said: ‘Derek would’ve never paid the money the second time if he knew they had already got me, but I didn’t have a chance to tell him.
‘It was horrible to realise they got us once – it’s one of those things you think will never happen to you – but to think they got us twice is really frightening.
‘It makes you wonder just how many other people they have caught out. Something needs to be done to stop these people.’
A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said: ‘Anyone who receives such a call should ask first for the name of the person phoning, where they’re calling from, and their phone number.
‘If you think you are being targeted, ask the caller for as many details regarding the company as possible including its address.’