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Fraud victim thanks Tesco for ensuring she didn't fall for second scam

April 5, 2021
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A Nottinghamshire woman has thanked Tesco staff after they spotted she was about to fall for a second scam. 

The 73-year-old woman, who didn't wish to be named, praised shop staff after she visited her local store spotting the fraud scam, supporting her and then reporting it to the police. 

She had been e-mailed by fraudsters, which appeared to be from her local vicar, requesting that she buy vouchers for the vicar's niece.

The victim visited Tesco and purchased £200 worth of Amazon vouchers. She was asked to scratch the back of the vouchers and email a picture to the scammers. 

She was then asked by fraudsters to visit the supermarket again to purchase a further £300 worth of Amazon vouchers, to help with the vicars nieces’ education. She returned an hour later, which caused alarm bells for the same shop workers.

Tesco refused to sell the vouchers, but the victim did manage to buy the vouchers from her post office. 

Thankfully, Tesco staff were able to spot the woman walking past and able to explain that she had been scammed. Sadly the victim wasn't able to get her £300 voucher reimbursed.

The victim said: “I’m so grateful of the staff there who were able to spot me outside the shop and make sure I got my money back. 

“I woke up that morning and spotted an e-mail, which appeared to be from the vicar who was requesting money for her niece. I didn’t really think twice. Looking back, I’m annoyed with myself as I should have checked the e-mail address, as it clearly wasn’t from the vicar.

“Even now I still get upset about it.

“It was so convincing, the wording in the e-mail was so believable. It was early in the morning and I just wasn’t really functioning that early. Now I feel embarrassed that I fell for it. 

“Tesco’s were wonderful, they quickly spotted me again and told me that they thought I’d been scammed. They even rang the local vicar and helped me try to get my money back.

“I’m still working with my credit card company to get the original £200 back, so hopefully when this is all finished I won’t be too much out of pocket. 

“My advice would be to anyone going through anything similar, is to check the e-mail clearly. And talk to people, whether it friend or family, a neighbour, just to talk through it. 

“I nearly lost £500, which is a lot of money to people. I don’t want anyone else to be in the same boat.

“When I spoke to the police, they were great. They didn’t make me feel stupid, but they were hugely sympathetic and supportive. They’ve given a lot of advice to make sure this doesn’t happen again to me.”

Fiona Price, a Fraud Protect and Prevent Officer at Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Fraudsters are always looking to exploit people and in this case, it is fortunate that the store raised her concerns with us straight away.

"The woman's emails were so convincing and no one should feel ashamed of falling for scams like this. The people behind them are very clever and deceiving.

“It goes to show the vital work that our key workers play not just in keeping the country going during lockdown, but spotting exploitation and reporting it to us.

“Tesco did a fantastic job to spot this and report it. We are now working closely with the victim to make sure there is appropriate support for them moving forward.”

If you are a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud via their website: www.actionfraid.police.uk

In an emergency, you should always call 999.

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101 is the number to call when you need to contact Nottinghamshire Police and it’s less urgent than a 999 call. Calls are free, no matter how long the call lasts.