The man had been contacted by somebody claiming to be a lottery official, who had told him that he had won a prize and asked for his name and address. Having sent the man a cheque for £5,000, which he paid into his account, the tricksters then told him there had been a mistake and he was actually entitled to £20,000.
The innocent victim was told to transfer the £5,000 back across to them, with the promise that his full winnings would then be paid. As the pensioner related the story, the cab driver became concerned and went into the bank with him to clarify the situation and ultimately helped expose the fraud.
Police insist the man would have lost £5,000 of his own money, as once a cheque is taken to a bank and shown as credited to a holder’s account, there is a short window of time when cash can be withdrawn before a cheque is found to be false. The bank would then ask for the money back and the victim would have no choice but to pay it themselves.
PC Dale Garner said in The Star: “Had it not been for the actions of the concerned taxi driver, we would not have been aware of this situation. His actions meant that we could prevent the scam being carried out and the victim losing £5,000.”
This latest scam is primarily targeting the elderly, but it serves as a timely reminder for everyone that no personal details should ever be given out to an unknown caller. It is not possible to win a lottery prize for a draw you did not enter and you will not be asked to pay any sort of fee to collect your winnings.