An 81-year-old woman was targeted by PPI scammers who used aggressive tactics to try to pressure her into sending them hundreds of pounds.

The scammers cold-called the woman, who lives in Southwell with her husband, and told her that she was owed £4,190.

However, in order to receive the money she had to pay what they described as tax first, amounting to £225.

They said the woman would need to go to the town’s Co-op to buy Paysafe cards to that amount and then read out the codes over the phone.

In between the several phone calls that she received from the scammers on the morning of Monday, February 26, the woman contacted police, who visited her at her home and told her that she should not proceed.

The woman said: “The man who called me knew my address and said there was a solicitor in Mansfield who would be bringing me a cheque at noon.

“After I said yes to this he hung up straight away. I talked to my husband who said it sounded a bit strange.

“Half-an-hour later the man rang back to tell me that they had arranged for a solicitor to come round. He spoke to me like I was a little child, spelling things out for me.

“He then told me that the solicitor needed proof of ID and because it was a large amount of money I had to pay tax on it.

“He hung up again and I called the police at Newark. We told them that we were pensioners and we were worried about it.

“A police officer (PC Deborah Bakin) arrived and when he rang again, Deborah took the call.

“She told him that we would give the Paysafe cards when the solicitor came round. He hung up and didn’t ring again.

“Normally I am quite a sensible woman but this really shook me. The man sounded so urgent on the phone.

“The advice I would give to other people is simply to hang up.

“It is no good talking to them because they have the gift of the gab. They sound convincing and they have the cheek to do it.”

'A warning to anybody'

PC Bakin, who is based at Ollerton Police Station, said she called back the scammer to let them know who she was.

“I said that I was from the police and asked him what he was going to do with the money,” she said.

“He just laughed and replied: ‘I am going to top up my phone.’

“These people had obviously done their groundwork because they knew which shops in Southwell would sell the Paysafe cards.

“This should be a warning to anybody — don’t pay out to get stuff back.”

Information about the attempted scam has been passed on to Nottinghamshire Police’s fraud team.

If you have lost money because of a scam, you can report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.