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Warning sounded over flu jab scam

Members of the public are being warned to be on the alert for a scam apparently targeting the elderly.

Anyone being offered flu jabs over the phone is urged not to fall for the con, and to contact police.

It is believed the fraudsters are targeting the elderly, in an effort to trick them out of their savings.

When contacted by telephone, they are asked if they would like a flu jab for £1.50, and then asked for their debit or credit card details.

The unsuspecting victims subsequently discover large sums of money have been removed from their account - sometimes running into thousands of pounds.

Park End and Beckfield ward Councillor Brian Hubbard 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 Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: "We aren't aware of any reports of this scam locally, but there have been reports nationally of frauds linked to bogus flu jab payments.

"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."