Amazon scam sparks warning in North East after pensioner is tricked out of £10,000

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A pensioner conned out of almost £10,000 in an Amazon scam has spoken out in the hope of warning others about the experience which has left him angry and ashamed.

The 69-year-old hopes he will prevent others from being duped, despite not telling his loved ones about his own nightmare.

The man was rushing to a football game in January when his house phone rang and he answered the call.

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The grandfather was warned of suspicious activity on his account and advised to contact the National Crime Agency (NCA) and place his money into their secure bank account.

A grandad was tricked out of almost £10,000 in an Amazon scam. Image by Getty Images.A grandad was tricked out of almost £10,000 in an Amazon scam. Image by Getty Images.
A grandad was tricked out of almost £10,000 in an Amazon scam. Image by Getty Images.

But soon he began to doubt his actions.

He said: “They just caught me off guard, I didn’t have time to think about it, I just panicked.

“When I realised what had happened I was in tears – I was getting angrier and angrier at myself.

“I’m 69 but I like to think I’ve got my wits about me and that I’m still switched on which makes it worse that I didn’t pick up on this sooner.

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“I’m angry I didn’t ask more questions, I’m frustrated, upset - I’ve had every emotion under the sun since it happened.”

He reported the fraud to police and his bank and thankfully received a full refund.

Inquiries traced a suspect to the Newcastle area with officers from Northumbria Police still investigating the case.

Detective Sergeant Phil Thoburn, from its Complex Fraud Investigation Unit, said: “We are all too familiar with cases like this where fraudsters call with an elaborate sounding story about suspicious activity on an account.

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“These scams rely on making vulnerable people feel worried, panicked and anxious.

“Fraudsters will apply pressure and coerce you to make quick decisions when your guard is down.

“If you do get a cold-call, take your time, question the caller – write down their name, number and don’t be afraid to hang up and gather your thoughts for a few moments.

Police and banks will never ask for bank details, card numbers or ask people to send money and people should never transfer money to an unknown account.

If in doubt, hang up and contact 101.