AN elderly couple have been conned out of hundreds of pounds after their details fell into the hands of scamsters.
The pensioners were contacted by a team fraudulently claiming to be handling a case in the Spanish courts involving cash owed to them from a holiday timeshare company.
The con artists told the couple they were due money, but asked them to pay fees before they could be sent the compensation.
But after the demands continued, the couple, who are aged in their 70s and live in the Peterlee area, became suspicious and called police, who have confirmed the callers were bogus.
Investigations established they were using the name of a UK finance company – a genuine firm whose managing director has confirmed they are involved in no such cases.
A landline number in the city was also used to create the impression the office the couple were dealing with was real.
The couple were targeted after their details were passed on to criminals following their part in a timeshare several years ago.
A similar case has also been reported in the Durham area, with police looking in to whether it involves the same group of scamsters.
Detective Constable Jonathan Stoker, of Peterlee CID, said: “The couple feel embarrassed about what’s happened and don’t want to speak to their family about it, but we have put them in touch with Victim Support to offer them help.
“If anybody gets phone calls like these and it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
“People can use the Action Fraud website, which is a national reporting portal and has lots of information, speak to us or Crimestoppers.”
Durham Constabulary can be called on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously via 0800 555 111 and Action Fraud’s website is www.actionfraud.police.uk