Vigilant WH Smith boss saves OAP from Amazon scam worth £300

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Article by Kloe Hackett: A terrified elderly man was saved from being scammed out of hundreds of pounds thanks to a vigilant shop manager.

The man who is believed to have been in his 80s, was looking at gift cards in WH Smith, in Billericay High Street, when shop manager Carina Conway overheard a conversation he was having with a member of staff which set alarm bells ringing.

The 25-year-old said:

“I overheard him saying he wanted £300 on there so straight away I said that it was a lot of money for a gift card and asked him who it was for. He told me that he couldn’t say which made me even more sure that he was being scammed. There were quite a few people watching and he was looking around looking really frightened. I asked him if he wanted to come into the office and have a chat and he said: ‘Yes please’.”

The pensioner began to tell Carina that a man had called him on the phone to tell him he had not paid tax and that he must put £300 on an Amazon gift card or he would be arrested.

He was so worried, he had kept his turmoil from his family and was going through the ordeal alone. Carina added:

“I think this had happened to him before; he was so scared. I reassured him that it was a scam and told him he would not get arrested and not to do it. It’s not the first time we have had this happen and with Amazon gift cards. WH Smith are quite alert with this sort of thing.”

The shaken gentleman accepted Carina’s advice, thanked her, and told her:

“Hopefully I’ll save some money now”.

WH Smith was contacted for comment on Carina’s intervention but did not respond before the Echo went to print.

Article by Kloe Hackett, The Echo