Elderly parents scammed

Unsure if this is on the correct category - apologies if I’ve taken a wrong turn.
This evening I got what was clearly a scam email sent from my elderly parents email address (they share the one) titled ‘Favor’ which asks ‘are you on Amazon please let me know. Signed my parents name.’ If you respond in any way it comes back almost instantly asking for a Apple Card to be purchased on Amazon and sent to the scammer. 
Rang parents immediately to let them know about the scam and my dad tells me that he has ‘clicked on an email which looked like it was from their email account service’ and that he ‘shouldn’t have done it’
i asked him to change his email account password. He told me he did this and then sent a group email out to all his contacts telling them that the previous email was a scam and to just delete it. But he got a reply back from the scammer (along with all their contacts) saying that the request was not a scam and genuine. 🤦🏼‍♀️
In meantime a relative had told my parents that they had sent a gift card in a not insignificant amount to the scammer and my parents feel awful and responsible. And have said they will ‘make it right’ - meaning paying the relative back for the gift card. which really I don’t think they should do. To my mind I think this should be reported to the police as it is clearly a crime.
I’ve asked them to get in touch with their service provider but they haven’t been able to do so as yet. 
They live some distance from me so  finding it difficult to help as much as I wish i could.
just grateful that they don’t do any form of online banking - but I have asked them to change passwords for any websites/accounts that may have been compromised. 
any advice appreciated.
thank you
SQS


Lancashire
PV 5.04kWp 
🐙 Go

Mortgage freedom January 2024 - paid off 7 years early by making overpayments where we could.

«13

Comments

  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,235
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary First Post
    Forumite
    I would expect a report to the police to achieve very little except to say that they have reported it to action fraud. Action fraud don’t investigate themselves, they have more of a monitoring role, so it’s up to the local police force if they investigate and generally speaking they don’t.

    Your parents haven’t lost any money; if they feel they need to repay the relative who has lost money then that is their choice to make. All they can do now is change all their password to something more secure and be more aware of dodgy emails in future. I can’t see that there’s anything else you can do even if you were closer. Also not sure what you expect their service provider to be doing, other than making them aware of the phishing email? 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    Hi, the scam does need reporting because I think it's going to catch quite a lot of people out.

    The relative who has paid out money should take action as soon as possible, as per Citizens Advice - "contact the police immediately by calling 101 if you've transferred money to the scammer in the last 24 hours".  (See link below which also contains advice about trying to recoup any losses.)  They will need to have a claim number from the police anyway for when they try to get their money back.

    You, or your parents, can also report the whole scam via Citizens Advice as per info in the following link -

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/resources-and-tools/search-navigation-tools/Search/?q=money+back+after+scam&c=TOP-PUBLIC
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
  • Bradden
    Bradden Posts: 1,050
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    Do your parents have any security software installed? Whilst not really required it may be useful for those less technical as it should have blocked the phishing attempt.
  • SuzeQStan
    SuzeQStan Posts: 953
    First Anniversary First Post Homepage Hero Photogenic
    Forumite
    @MalMonroe - great advice thank you actioning that with m&d this morning. Much appreciated!
    @Bradden - they do have a firewall etc but dad says he clicked on something thinking it was from a legitimate source.  I’m not entirely sure what exactly happened as they can be a bit closed mouthed when they think their independence is under scrutiny. 😔  I do worry about them getting taken advantage of.
    Lancashire
    PV 5.04kWp 
    🐙 Go

    Mortgage freedom January 2024 - paid off 7 years early by making overpayments where we could.

  • sammyjammy
    sammyjammy Posts: 7,288
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    Forumite
    The relative really went out and bought a high value apple gift card without picking up the phone to your parents?  I don't think your parents should take responsibility for that!
    "You've been reading SOS when it's just your clock reading 5:05 "
  • The relative really went out and bought a high value apple gift card without picking up the phone to your parents?  I don't think your parents should take responsibility for that!
    That was my reaction too!  Unless it’s a close relative who might ordinarily give the parents expensive gift cards, I’d be highly suspicious and ask for documented proof that they did actually buy the card.  
  • MalMonroe said:
    Hi, the scam does need reporting because I think it's going to catch quite a lot of people out.

    The relative who has paid out money should take action as soon as possible, as per Citizens Advice - "contact the police immediately by calling 101 if you've transferred money to the scammer in the last 24 hours".  (See link below which also contains advice about trying to recoup any losses.)  They will need to have a claim number from the police anyway for when they try to get their money back.

    You, or your parents, can also report the whole scam via Citizens Advice as per info in the following link -

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/resources-and-tools/search-navigation-tools/Search/?q=money+back+after+scam&c=TOP-PUBLIC
    These type of scam emails has existed for years so reporting it now is not going to stop people being scammed I'm afraid. Info exists out there on it, I presume its along the lines of this;

    https://www.mcgill.ca/channels/channels/news/gift-card-phishing-scam-can-you-do-me-favor-321778



    Anyway the correct advice with this is to report to Amazon, they have their own suspicious communications help, the relatives scammed should also report it. They may block the gift card from being used if it hasn't been.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=GRGRY7AQ3LMPXVCV

    That's all you technically can do with what's actually happened.

  • SuzeQStan
    SuzeQStan Posts: 953
    First Anniversary First Post Homepage Hero Photogenic
    Forumite
    @sammyjammy - exactly that! I too have my doubts about the relative who ‘bought’ a high value gift card. They are constantly on the scrounge with my folks and have tried in the past to get even more money out of them than they regularly give already. I wish I could say more believe me!
    Lancashire
    PV 5.04kWp 
    🐙 Go

    Mortgage freedom January 2024 - paid off 7 years early by making overpayments where we could.

  • SuzeQStan
    SuzeQStan Posts: 953
    First Anniversary First Post Homepage Hero Photogenic
    Forumite
    Have asked m&d to request a receipt from relative for the gift card as ‘evidence’ for when they report to the police. Should make it go away rather quickly don’t you think?
    Lancashire
    PV 5.04kWp 
    🐙 Go

    Mortgage freedom January 2024 - paid off 7 years early by making overpayments where we could.

  • SuzeQStan said:
    Have asked m&d to request a receipt from relative for the gift card as ‘evidence’ for when they report to the police. Should make it go away rather quickly don’t you think?
    This is the best idea, without a shadow of a doubt!

    It sounds like you were on the ball so it was all dealt with rather quickly. I highly doubt said relative would have been able to purchase the gift card and send it to the scammer in that time without questioning it
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 341.6K Banking & Borrowing
  • 249.6K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449K Spending & Discounts
  • 233.7K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 605.8K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 172.3K Life & Family
  • 246.4K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards