Dirty Rotten Scammers: Scam victim discusses losing money
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Sadly, scammers are consistently on the hunt for their next victim, and diversifying their tactics to do so. This was the case for Sheree, a 65-year-old woman who currently lives alone.
Sheree has around £800 per month, comprised of her claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and her private pension.
The money enables her to cover essential bills, as well as the care she needs.
However, sadly to fraudsters, Sheree was just another person they could target in a vicious manner.
The 65-year-old soon found herself targeted by a scam which saw the scammers spend almost £1,000 on her card.
This was despite the fact she had never shopped online in the past.
Sheree said: “When I checked my balance, my heart literally dropped. I had no money, I couldn’t buy any food.”
At her wits’ end, Sheree turned to Citizens Advice to ask for help in her challenging circumstances.
She continued: “I was so distraught and really upset.
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“I really do not know what I would have done without the food and fuel vouchers as I don’t have anyone to ask for help.”
In the end, Sheree’s bank stepped in to help her at what was an extremely difficult time.
They were able to get her money back, however, the experience took its toll on her.
She added: “The whole thing was extremely stressful.
“My health really suffered over those couple of weeks as all I was doing was worrying about how I was going to eat and pay my bills.”
New research by Citizens Advice has shown over 40 million Britons have been targeted by scammers this year.
Individuals are being urged to pay attention as the cost of living crisis is being exploited by fraudsters to target Britons.
Scams include emails claiming to be from the regulator Ofgem asking people to enter their bank details to get the £400 energy rebate, or claiming the Government is giving £200,000 out at random to people who are of pension age, disabled or on a low income.
There are ways Britons can protect themselves from being targeted, according to Jane Parsons, a consumer expert at Citizens Advice.
Offers which seem too good to be true, probably are, and individuals should always be hesitant.
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In addition, those pressured to transfer money quickly or pay in an unusual way could be embroiled in a scam.
A huge tell-tale sign a scam is taking place, Ms Parsons added, is if people are asked to give away personal information such as passwords or PIN numbers.
Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said: “We know scammers prey on our worries and fears and the cost-of-living crisis is no exception.
“Anyone can be targeted by a scam, and as the purse strings are tightened and financial pressures pile on, it’s more important than ever we recognise the red flags.
“By reporting scams and sharing our own experiences, we can work together to protect ourselves and each other.”
Those who feel they have fallen victim to a scam have been urged to contact Action Fraud or Police Scotland.
Individuals should talk to their bank or card company immediately if they have handed over any financial or sensitive details, or made a payment.
They can also take the matter to Citizens Advice, where the organisation will also offer guidance.
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