Local resident warns community of phone scam

Be weary of phone scams. Pic: Wikipedia Commons

Be weary of phone scams. Pic: Wikipedia Commons

A Stoke Newington resident narrowly avoided getting scammed on the phone and is now looking to warn people to be on their guard.

Claire Widgery, 63, of Bouverie Road said that she received a phone call from a person who told her he was a police officer from Hammersmith police station on (?) afternoon. The alleged officer told Widgery that he had just arrested a person for trying to steal a television set using her bank details. He then asked her whether she regularly uses internet banking and when she confirmed, he told her that this was how her information was stolen.

Widgery said: “I didn’t quite know how to respond, so I asked for his name and police number. When he gave those to me, I also asked him for the crime number of the arrest, but he said he was unable to tell me it.”

She said that she was then asked to give the number on the back of her credit card that is normally used to get in touch with her bank. After that, the caller told Widgery that he would set up the call for her and she was instructed to leave the phone on until she heard a dial tone and then ring the bank. She immediately hung up after this. She commented: “I wasn’t sure whether he was real or not, so I called Hammersmith’s police department.”

Her suspicions were confirmed by the police station when she was told that she had almost been scammed. An officer explained to her the tactic that scammers would have used in order to acquire her bank details.

The people involved would have recorded a dial tone, played it to Widgery and then they would have stayed on the line while she would give out her details to a fake representative of her bank.

After the phone call with Hammersmith’s police department, two officers visited Widgery and made a quick security check on her phone to assure her that everything was fine with it.

Widgery added: “I want to warn people about this because really bad things could happen to anyone if they are not paying enough attention.”

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