A TELEPHONE scam targeting members of the elderly community into spending their savings has been reported to the authorities.

The scam, which takes place as a phone call asking victims if they would like a flu jab for £1.50, has been reported by suspicious members of the public.

The victim, who remains on the phone, is then asked to provide their debit or credit card details in order to process what they believe is a legitimate service.

In some cases unsuspecting victims have gone on to discover large amounts of money have been removed from their bank accounts, with figures running into thousands of pounds. 

On Tuesday, Middlesbrough Councillor for Park End and Beckfield Ward, Cllr Brian Hubbard issued a warning to residents in the area.

He said: "Sadly the elderly are seen as easy prey, and the flu jab is apparently being used as a plausible way to trick bank details out of them, despite being free for those aged over 65.

"Clearly the advice is not to give any information over the phone, and if in doubt, call your GP.

"Likewise any call purporting to be from your bank advising of unusual activity on your account is almost certainly an attempted fraud - the advice is to hang up immediately.

"We'd also urge people to reinforce this message to elderly friends, relatives and acquaintances, many of whom do not have internet access."

A spokesperson for Cleveland Police said although the force was not aware of any reports of the scam 'locally', it urged potential victims to report the scam to police.

The spokesperson added: "Our advice to people is never to give out their bank or credit card details to anyone over the phone."

  • Anyone who believes they have been the victim of such a scam is advised to contact Action Fraud or Cleveland Police on 101.