Police in North Yorkshire are warning residents about a boiler scam after a potential victim raised the alarm.
Fraudsters had persuaded the 80-year-old woman to set up a direct debit from her bank current account but got away with nothing when she realised it was a trick.
The woman, who lives in the Richmondshire area, received a phone call to tell her that it was time to renew her ‘boiler’ insurance in case her heating breaking down this winter
Believing she was speaking to her existing insurance provider, the woman gave the fraudsters her bank account details.
Using that information, the thieves set up a direct debit and took the first payment of £44.
North Yorkshire Police said today that they believe the payment was made to an account controlled by the fraudsters.
A spokesman said: "Thankfully the victim spotted the payment going out and realised she was not paying her usual heating company. The direct debit was cancelled just in time, the bank recalled the payment, and on this occasion the fraudsters did not manage to keep the money they had stolen.
"When she contacted the company whose name had been high-jacked and used by the thieves she was told she was the fifth person to report such a scam that morning."
Officers are advising anyone who receives similar calls to take great care and make sure they check to see who they are speaking to.
"Please do not to give details of your bank account to anyone who phones you," the spokesman said.
"The fraudsters in this case were using a company name that looked and sounded real. However, the caller was completely bogus.
"These thieves are intent on taking money from your bank account by fraud. Always ensure you know who you are speaking to and if you are in any doubt, put the phone down.
"Do not assume people are who they say they are, particularly when they call you out of the blue."