Feisty pensioners have fought off fraudsters who tried to access their bank account - and are warning people across Chroley and Leyland to be aware of similar scams.
When 71-year-old Arthur Kelly took an unexpected phone call and was told he’d won some money, he instantly had suspicions because he knew he hadn’t entered any competitions.
Arthur, who lives with his wife Brenda in Kingswood Road in Leyland, said: “My daughter-in-law is a solicitor and she’s warned me about scams like this.
“I had an idea straight away that something wasn’t right, and the man said he needed my security number so he could put the money into my bank account.
“He wouldn’t tell me how much I’d won, and I wasn’t going to give him my bank account number.”
Arthur, a retired Leyland Motors worker who has six grandchildren, added: “We’re used to getting phone calls like this, but I’ve never had anything in my life for nothing. I’m not daft.”
Trading Standards warns against such prize draws, lottery and sweepstakes scams like the one Arthur was almost victim to.
Julie Waddington, from Lancashire County Council Trading Standards, said: “Mass marketing scams like this are very cruel.
“There will never be any winnings; they just want your bank details and your money.
“Scams like this target millions of people, and the worst thing is that if you respond to one, your name is out there for all of the con people to target you.
“Mr and Mrs Kelly did well to spot this was a scam, and I’m pleased to hear that they didn’t give any of their details away.”
The prize draw scam isn’t the only thing the couple have had to deal with recently, as Brenda took a call from someone saying they were in the wrong council tax band.
This is a common ‘summer scam’ where people, usually doorstep sellers or phone callers, offer to check people’s council tax banding to see if they are due a refund or a reduction.
Although it’s not illegal to do this, the companies only do it for a fee, and residents can check their council tax banding for free by going directly to the council, which Brenda did.
The 72-year-old said: “I went to South Ribble Council to check with them, and they said everything was fine with our council tax.
“You’ve really got to have your wits about you.
“It’s really bad that people are being targeted - this never happened when we were ex-directory, but it doesn’t work like that anymore.
“It’s annoying that they seem to pounce on older people, it’s really not on.
“They shouldn’t be doing it to anyone, but targeting older people is especially terrible.”
The couple contacted one of South Ribble’s prospective MP candidates, Veronica Bennett, to help her get the message out and warn others about the scams. Veronica said: “No one should fall for this type of scam.
“I urge anyone receiving such calls to report it to police by dialing 101 as soon as they’re off the phone.
“No legitimate enterprise will ever ask for your bank details like pin numbers over the phone.”
- This week’s Leyland Guardian features an in-depth look at the most common tricks operating in Leyland at the minute.
Also in our scam-busting special paper:
- A Trading Standards expert gives advice on how to protect yourself from fraudsters
- Leyland’s top scams to watch out for are revealed, including rogue traders, council tax schemes and untrustworthy fish sellers
- Leyland financial advisor Greg Heath takes his Twitter campaign national, after TV’s Dispatches spotted his warnings about fraudulent pension schemes operating in the area