A NEW Cumnock grandfather is warning members of the community against fraudsters after he was almost scammed out of money.

Ian Young was targeted twice recently by scammers claiming to be from his credit card company. An automated voice claimed that a large transaction had taken place through Ian’s credit card and instructed him to press ‘one’ for support.

Ian told the Chronicle: “The claims are there was a £600 transaction through your credit card in a foreign country. It asks you to press ‘one’, but you should hang up and phone your credit card company.

“What they’re trying to do is to get information from you and if you press ‘one’ you would be giving access.

“I’ve spoken to the credit card company and the advice they’re giving is don’t press anything at all. If in doubt at all just hang up and get onto your credit card company.

“It can happen to anyone. If they make 1,000 calls and they get one [person], then they’ve succeeded.”

A spokesman from Mastercard said: "I can confirm that Mastercard will never call cardholders, we don’t hold any of their personal information, this would be held by the card issuer, usually their bank."

Paul Todd, regulatory services manager at East Ayrshire Council, said: “We don’t receive a huge number of reports about scams and have not had any about this particular scenario. We had 100 reports of scams in 2018/19 but the research shows that people are embarrassed to admit they may have been caught out, that only 5 per cent of scam victims actually report the matter to law enforcement including Trading Standards and that 22 per cent are too embarrassed to tell anyone.

“Anyone who receives a suspect call should hang up and contact their bank or credit card company directly. Never give personal information such as pin codes over the phone. If possible, the person should use a different phone to make that call as scammers can keep the phone line open, so that even if they have hung up and called the organisation direct, the line may still be connected to the scammer. If it is not possible to use another phone you should wait for at least 10 minutes before making the call.

“People can also register with the Telephone Preference Service and Mail Preference Service to reduce the amount of marketing calls and letters they receive. Any marketing letters or calls that they receive after registering will either be scams or from people breaching marketing regulations.

“If someone is being pestered by nuisance calls there are call blocking devices that can be installed on the phone line which reduce/remove the problem.

“Our Trading Standards Service are happy to give advice to anyone who has been affected by a scam. We are also keen to receive any information that can be provided on potential scams. Contact us on 01563 576602, email trading.standards@east-ayrshire.gov.uk or at 16 John Dickie Street, Kilmarnock KA1 1HW.