A married couple from Wales managed to foil a scam caller who pretended to be from Welsh Water and knew their bank details.
Brian and Pamela Gwilym, an elderly husband and wife from Tredegar in Wales, were called us last week by a woman claiming to be from Welsh Water. She offered the retired couple a £900 refund on their water bill which she claimed had been overpaid. The telephone adviser then read out the first few digits of their joint bank account. She asked for the rest of their car details.
Brian, 79, originally took the call. However, when the female caller began to read out their card details his wife Pamela, 76, quickly took over suspecting something might be wrong. Pamela said:
She read the first two to three numbers of both the card and sort code, and she knew the bank. I thought how does she know that? My husband was on the phone, he was talking about this £900 and he said go and get the card, I said no way, give me the phone.
Pamela then refused to give the caller their bank details to which the alleged Welsh Water representative became annoyed. Pamela phoned the police after the phone call ended and then went on to call their bank. After relaying the contents of the phone call, the bank informed them that it was a scam.
When the couple decided to call the number back using 1471, a man answered and said they would be connected to an agent. However, the line went dead. When their local newspaper, the Gwent Gazette, tried the same method they reached an automated greeting before the line also went dead.
A spokesperson for Welsh Water is warning other customers about scam calls. They said:
We have been notified of a bogus caller incident in the Tredegar area where the caller pretended to be from Dwr Cymru Welsh Water. If customers are unsure about the identity of a person claiming to be from Welsh Water, either at the door or on the telephone, they can ring Welsh Water on 0800 281 141 to confirm the caller’s identity. Genuine employees will not mind waiting while these checks are carried out. We urge all customers to be vigilant – and for people to advise those they may feel could be vulnerable.
The police are asking anyone who has received similar calls to contact them as soon as possible.