East Ham pensioner warns others about phone scam

An East Ham pensioner was tricked into a phone scam which left him out of pocket and on hold for nearly two hours.

An East Ham pensioner was tricked into a phone scam which left him out of pocket and on hold for nearly two hours.

Retired builder Jim Green noticed that his pension payments were �60 short three months ago so he telephoned Newham Council to see what had happened.

An employee told Jim he would have to take the matter up with HM Revenue and Customs and quoted the Taxes Helpline number.

However, instead of dialling the prefix 0845, Jim pressed 0843 and he was forced to listen to a recorded message telling him that he was in a queue and would be answered shortly for one hour and 48 minutes before he hung up.

Jim, 69, said: “Someone else must have got this wrong as well but they are so convincing saying, ‘You’re in a queue and you’re getting closer.’”

A phone bill arrived soon after charging pensioner Jim �52 for the call and it was only after he paid a visit to Newham Council’s offices and received the correct number did he realise the number he dialled was a fake, set up especially for people who misdialled HM Revenue and Customs.

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Jim added: “I just don’t want other people to do the same thing because that kind of money is a lot to some people. I felt like a fool at the end of it.”