COUNTY NEWS: Elderly Sussex man loses thousands in telephone scam

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An elderly Sussex man fell victim to a complex telephone scam and lost nearly £5,000.

The vulnerable victim, from Hastings, was defrauded of £4,800 over a couple of weeks by being convinced he was owed money by Microsoft.

PCSO Faye Spiers said: “Telephone fraudsters are getting cleverer and this was quite a complex scam. It was also completely believable for the victim and reinforces just how cautious we all need to be about dealing with any unexpected phone calls where the caller is seeking access to a computer or details about bank accounts.”

The victim ignored an unknown number three times before finally answering the phone, speaking to a woman who invited him to call back on a number to show that it was a legitimate contact.

He was persuaded there was a problem with his computer and he was owed money by Microsoft as a result.

The senior citizen allowed the scammers access to his computer and while they were remotely connected, he was encouraged to log into his bank account.

When he did, it showed they had paid in £3500, but they explained there was a deficit that needed paying back into their account and he needed to do it through the Post Office.

He did this, but was contacted again to say there was a problem so he checked his bank account and it showed nothing had been taken, so he paid another amount.

This happened three times over a period of a couple of weeks at the end of October and beginning of November, resulting in the man being defrauded of £4,800.

For advice on scams visit www.sussex.police.uk/advice/protect-yourself-and-others/fraud/telephone-fraud.

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