Pensioner scam victim warning over ‘shocking, £200 gift cards scam

A pensioner has issued a warning to others over a ‘shocking’ scam which saw her tricked into purchasing gift cards worth £200.

The elderly woman, who has not been named, was targeted by the scammer who promised her a phone call from a government minister in return for the gift cards.

The pensioner, who lives in Cheshire, said she was approached by a man claiming to be from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), who offered her a phone call from the minister if she purchased gift cards.

The scammer convinced the pensioner that the cards were necessary for ‘verifying her identity’ and she was then asked to purchase them from a local store.

The pensioner fortunately realised that the call was a scam before transferring any money to the fraudster.

Police have now issued a warning to other pensioners to be vigilant of similar scams.

Detective Inspector Pauline Maddocks, of Cheshire Police, said: “This is a shocking scam which exploits vulnerable people who may be desperate to hear from a government minister.

“We urge people to be vigilant when they receive any unsolicited calls or messages and report any suspicious activity to police.

“If you are asked to purchase gift cards as part of any process, please do not do so as it is highly likely to be a scam.”

The pensioner’s warning follows similar cases across the country where elderly people have been targeted by scammers.

Fraudsters have previously claimed to be from HMRC, the DWP and other government agencies in order to convince people to part with their money.

Pensioners are particularly vulnerable to these types of scams and should be extra vigilant if they receive any unexpected calls or messages.

If you believe you have been targeted by fraudsters, you should report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.