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Gas station employee warns Port Hope senior of Google Play card phone scam: police

Port Hope police are warning about a phone scam involving Google Play cards.
Port Hope police are warning about a phone scam involving Google Play cards. AP file photo

Police in Port Hope say a gas station employee prevented a woman from falling victim to a phone scam.

The Port Hope Police Service says on March 4, an elderly woman received a phone call from a person claiming to be a bank manager. The individual told the woman her bank accounts had been compromised and she needed to provide $600 for her accounts to remain in good standing, police said.

READ MORE: Northumberland woman falls victim to cellphone porting scam, OPP say

The caller directed the woman to purchase $600 in Google Play cards.

Police say the woman went to a Petro Canada gas station to purchase the cards. However, an employee questioned the purchase and when she informed them of the call, they told the woman it was likely a scam and advised her not to purchase the cards.

The woman returned home and notified police. They investigated and determined the incident was a scam.

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Police say a similar incident occurred on March 6 when another senior was contacted, this time by someone claiming to be with the CIA. The caller advised the victim’s credit card had been compromised and they needed to pay for it again in Google Play cards.

The woman declined but did provide her credit card number, police said.

However, police say the woman realized she had been scammed and contacted her bank to lock her account and credit cards, police said.

“Never give financial information over the phone to unknown person(s),” police stated. “Banks, government institutions never ask for money to be paid back over the phone and especially with Google Play Cards or other forms.”

Police urge people with elderly family members to discuss the scams.

“Scam artists can be very convincing scaring people into acting,” police stated. “In these two cases the intended victims were lucky.”

How to protect the elderly from fraud
How to protect the elderly from fraud