Posted: 29.11.19 at 18:47 by The Editor
A Market Deeping pensioner has been scammed out of £2,700 after falling foul of fraudsters.
The woman victim was duped by con men claiming she had won a £150,000 prize.
Bourne and Billingborough Neighbourhood Policing Team PCSO Graeme Parrott, based at Bourne Police Station, explains: "The fraudsters are cloning Facebook Messenger accounts and victims believe they have received a message on their feed from a friend stating that they have won a substantial prize and the intended victim should click on the link embedded in the message to see if they have too.
"The link directs them to a Messenger page run by a scam organisation which asks for basic details such as their name, age and telephone number.
"Then, through a mixture of telephone calls and Messenger contact they are told they have won a prize from a genuine and reputable organisation - in the case of the Market Deeping victim it was the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
"But, to receive their prize they must send a payment in gift cards - at which stage they also harvest more detailed personal information."
Victims are asked to read out the gift card codes over the telephone and the fraudsters then resell them.
The Market Deeping woman eventually realised she had been conned by impostor scammers and reported the incident to Action Fraud, the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime run by the City of London Police working alongside the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.
PCSO Parrott said a Bourne resident had also reported to Lincolnshire Police that they had been targeted by the same scam.
"Only one in 20 scams are reported to the police or Action Fraud so there could be many more victims out there.
"The scams are very convincing and anyone who becomes a victim should not feel embarrassed about reporting such incidents."
If you are the victim of a scam, or believe you may have been targeted by fraudsters, contact police by calling 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
• To find out more about scams, PCSO Parrott will be at Springwells Medical Equipment Fund Christmas Coffee Morning, Billingborough Village Hall, next Friday, 6 December from 9am to 2pm.
He, along with fellow Scam Champion Christine Taylor and village PCSO Sandra Brommell, will be promoting the Friends Against Scams scheme, operated by National Trading Standards.
The awareness event will offer visitors the opportunity to find out more about scams and how to protect themselves and others from becoming a victim.