Elderly couple scammed in six-figure con

An elderly Hamilton couple has been fleeced of a large sum of money by a "well-spoken Indian man" claiming to be from the Inland Revenue Department.

Hamilton police said the elderly couple lost a six-figure sum and were among dozens of people who had complained to police they had been contacted by someone claiming to be from a government department or bank.

The caller often said the person's bank has overcharged fees or that the government had over-taxed them.

They were then told if they wired an administrative fee through Western Union to an off-shore account they would receive a considerable refund, Detective Sergeant Dave Grace from Waikato police corporate fraud office said.

The calls appeared genuine but people needed to take basic steps to protect themselves.

"Government departments do not solicit funds in this way. If you receive such a call contact the department concerned before transferring any money.

"Reputable banks also don't act like this. Again, if you receive a call of this nature go to your bank to check and what ever you do don't send any funds until you have done so," he said.

He said once money was sent to an overseas account there was little, if any, chance of recovering it.

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