Woman tricked into giving bank details to phone scammers
THE 81-year-old grandmother of a murdered man was tricked into giving out her bank details to phone scammers days before her birthday.
When retired factory worker Dot Donson received a call saying that her Sky television bill was going to be reduced to £5 a month she thought that it was the perfect birthday present.
However, the Casswell Close, Grimsby, resident soon questioned the offer and when she called the number she was given she found that it did not work and that Sky knew nothing about the call and, in fact, her bill had recently risen in price.
She said: "The man on the phone said his name was Frank and he said that they were putting my Sky bill down to £5 a month.
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"I said that it was a nice surprise because it is my birthday soon.
"He said that he hoped I have a lovely day and took all my details.
"When I thought about the deal I wanted to question it further and tried to call back but the number didn't work and I started to panic.
"I also phoned Sky and they didn't know of anyone who was meant to be calling me and said that my bill had actually gone up.
"After that I went to the Post Office to check my account and nothing had gone out and my granddaughter, Linsey Short, took me to the bank to cancel my card."
Mrs Donson gave all her bank details to the man on the phone, including her secret password which was the name of her murdered grandson.
James Donson, pictured, was killed 11 years ago after being attacked and robbed of just £7 in the Hainton Avenue area of Grimsby in the early hours of Friday, June 22.
Mrs Donson added: "My grandson's name was my secret password and I have had to change it.
"He was murdered 11 years ago so the password was very close to my heart.
"I even asked if the whole thing was a scam and he said no.
"I am very upset about it.
"I am scared to answer the phone in case someone tries to do it again.
"After going through it myself I really feel for the people who do get tricked.
"I just want to warn people that this does happen."
Granddaughter Linsey said: "I took her to the bank and luckily no money was taken.
"She was really upset and panicking.
"It is disgusting to target anyone like that, especially the elderly."
Humberside Police's Crime Reduction Officer Andy Robinson said: "Sadly, we receive many reports of scams like this one, but thankfully most people see them for what they are, and report them to the police without giving away their personal or banking details.
"I would urge all residents to be vigilant and if you have elderly relatives or neighbours please ask them to be aware of this scam.
"Never reveal your personal or banking details over the telephone, and if you suspect the company may be fraudulent, contact the police. Banks and financial institutions will never ask the public to give out account or security information over the telephone or e-mail."
It comes just two weeks after we reported how an elderly and confused Cleethorpes man was scammed out of £3,600 by a fake company that pretended he was entitled to claim mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI).
They "baffled" him with facts and figures and told him his claim had already been verified by Revenue and Customs but in order to retrieve his money he must send them £3,600 – which he did.
Anyone with any information about this or other scams is asked to contact Humberside Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.