Police have issued a warning after an 80-year-old man from Condorrat was defrauded by a telephone con artist who promised him cash.
The incident occured when the senior citizen was called on his landline at 9am last Thursday by a man with an Asian accent.
The victim was asked for by name and the smooth-talking caller claimed that the pensioner was in the fortunate position of having come into an unexpected four figure sum.
It was then explained to the pensioner that he was owed a substantial refund from a Payment Protection Insurance claim.
The con-artist went on to explain that he would however be required to pay a fee to access the hefty sum involved.
It was explained to the man that this could be paid via the purchase of iTunes.
The man then visited a local superstore and spent a three figure sum on the vouchers - which had a code on them which he was to later relay to the caller.
The man did as requested but when the payout failed to materialise, the man raised the issue with his son.
The son realised that his father had been conned and quickly contacted police.
Officers admit that the scheme is a common one and that many of the individuals targeted know not to engage with the scam and simply put the phone down.
However, the con flourishes as many take the call at face value and buy the vouchers regardless.
Consequently the crime often goes unreported because the victim is to embarrassed to contact police - meaning the scam can so easily continue.
One variation on this scam sees the caller pose as a staff member from HMRC
And police have since informed us today (Wednesday) that there have been no fewer than three attempted thefts of this kind in the Cumbernauld area involving pensioners.
Thankfully none of them parted with cash and quickly alerted police - who urgently want to flag up the risks involved when engaging with this type of call.
Sergeant Stephen Shanks said: “The caller informs the victim that they require to pay a named amount of pounds and if they fail to do so, they face imprisonment.
“The caller then asks for the mobile number of the victim who provides same and contacts them on this number but requires them to remain upon their landline as well.
They are subsequently given instructions to purchase iTunes vouchers to the value of three figures and provide the voucher codes to the perpetrator at the end of the line.
“Having done so they are defrauded for that amount.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact 101.