A Dundee pensioner has warned people to be wary of unsolicited phone calls after she lost cash to a scammer.
Winifred Flynn, 74, took a call last week from someone claiming to be from Sky Protect, an insurance policy on her Sky account that covers damage to equipment.
Winifred was taken in by the female caller, who gave her name as Jenny Williams and knew the date her Direct Debit payment was due.
The woman said Winifred could save money by cancelling the £11.99 a month agreement and making a one-off payment of £99.
When Winifred said she couldn’t pay that much at once, she was offered an opportunity to pay in three instalments.
She gave her card details to make a payment of £33 but grew suspicious later and called the number she had been given.
It turned out to be false.
Winifred, who lives in the West End, went to her bank and explained what had happened and is hopeful she will get her money back.
However, she is keen to spread the word about the scam in the hope it will prevent other people from being taken in.
Winifred said: “I hope other people can learn from my mistake and be sure to be cautious when people phone them like that. I won’t be giving my details over the phone again.
“Thankfully, my bank has been very good and I will get my money back, but it will take a while. It was also an inconvenience as I had to cancel my card and take out enough cash from the branch to do me until the new one arrived.
“I got a call from the actual people from Sky Protect when they noticed the Direct Debit was cancelled and I explained what happened. The man there said a lot of customers who have been falling for that. It is worrying.”
Winifred said she doesn’t normally wouldn’t give out personal details over the phone, but she had been “vulnerable” at the time after having to have her cat put down days earlier.
“I was convinced by the fact she knew when my Direct Debit was due to come out, so I thought she was actually from Sky. I don’t think I would have fallen for it on any other week,” she said.
“I wasn’t thinking straight. I’m worried that other vulnerable people out there might fall for a similar trick.”
A Sky spokeswoman said they take such instances “really seriously” and will be investigating further.
The spokeswoman also urged anyone who falls for any scams to report it to Action Fraud.
A Dundee City Council spokesman said: “It is sadly becoming part of everyday life that scammers are making telephone calls and sending out emails to try to steal money or identity details from the unwary, so we would always say to be on your guard.
“Our standard message, that if it seems to be good to be true then it is probably a scam, still holds true, but the scammers are finding more and more sophisticated ways to deceive people out of their hard earned cash.
“The council and its partners work hard to take the fight to the criminal scammers by working with local banks, creating a Trusted Trader Scheme, offering advice and call blocking technology to combat nuisance calls and assisting in the return of money to people caught out by mass marketing fraud.
“If you feel like you have been scammed call Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 1646000.”