Covid con artists tricked pensioner out of £200 whilst he was in isolation

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William Grayson, 81, lives alone and 40-miles away from any relatives. He received a knock on his door from a man and woman claiming they were Covid volunteers supporting the elderly in his hometown in Weston-Super-Mare. The two ‘volunteers’ claimed they were local support workers picking up food and essential items on behalf of people who were unable to leave their homes.

They offered to do shopping and errands for Mr Grayson and he gave them £200 for food and home essentials.

When Mr Grayson’s shopping never arrived, he was heartbroken that criminals would exploit the fact that he was too afraid to leave his home.

He said: “There was a lot of confusion about lockdown, I didn’t know whether I was safe to be in my garden, let alone go to the shops.

“I had seen in the local paper that volunteers were out helping people in the area. I was grateful for some friendly faces offering help.

“Realising these people were out to get me made a dark time even darker for me to be honest.”

Mr Grayson now does not open the door to anyone unless it is a prearranged visit from someone he knows. His son has also fitted a smart doorbell that films anyone who comes to visit.

Criminals have taken the pandemic as an opportunity to prey on the vulnerable and make some cash.

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According to Action Fraud there have been over 470,000 instances of fraud since the start of the pandemic and doorstep scammers alone cost victims £18.7million last year.

If you have been a victim of fraud you should report it to Action Fraud. You should also report to Citizens Advice if you have been sold faulty, inferior or overpriced products or services. Similarly, you can seek advice from Citizens Advice about the terms and conditions of any agreement or contract you may have signed.

If a payment has been made by credit or debit card, contact your credit card company and/or bank and they can help you cancel payments and keep your finances secure.

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