POLICE are warning of scammers claiming to be from Westpac who took just two hours to defraud an 88-year-old Claremont naval veteran this week.
About noon on November 20 the victim received a telephone call from a man he described as having an Indian-sounding accent.
The caller claimed to be from the bank and was ‘attempting to rectify authorised uses’ of the victim’s credit card for $300 in Australia and $1100 overseas.
“What they did was emphasise that they were going to assist him, and what they asked him to do next would also help him,” Senior Constable Mark Matthews said.
Const Matthews said the victim was asked to confirm the later part of his credit car number, which he did, to solve the alleged transactions.
The victim was then asked to buy iTunes cards for credit to download music to Apple products.
The man purchased the cards at Coles Claremont, where staff did not challenge an elderly man buying a large amount of iTunes credit.
The victim then read back the cards’ numbers to the fraudsters during a later call that day.
“They now had his credit card details and $1000 in credit for iTunes, which they could use or sell on,” Const Matthews said.
The man reported the fraud to police the following day, after discussing the incident with his family.
“Seniors and their families should discuss this issue, and make it clear that no action should be taken if suspicious calls are received,” Const Matthews said.
After this newspaper’s inquiry, Coles investigated the report and said its staff had warned the man several times.
A spokeswoman said gift card scams had been increasing, so staff had been trained to look for large gift card purchases and warnings were now broadcast in supermarkets.
She said card details should not be given to anyone, receipts should be kept and suspicious requests reported to 1800 061 562.
Westpac has also been contacted for comment.