The Keelung Police Department on Tuesday urged the public to remind elderly people who live alone to verify orders before paying a delivery person after a man allegedly made off with NT$9,800.
Police said they received a report that an middle-aged man allegedly tricked an elderly man into surrendering the money by pretending to deliver a DVD player.
The supposed deliveryman demanded to be paid NT$9,600 in cash for the device, police said.
When the elderly man gave him NT$10,000, the imposter claimed he did not have NT$400 and gave NT$200 in change before departing, police said.
The elderly man called the police after he was informed by family members that there was no order for a DVD player and the Chinese-made device was valued at about NT$1,000, they said.
Scammers are preying on elderly people who live alone and impersonating a delivery person is the latest example of a “shotgun approach to scamming,” a police spokesperson said, referring to a technique in which fraudsters randomly target a lot of people.
“If you have a loved one who is old and lives alone, remind them that they should double-check with you, another member of the family, or call the 165 anti-scam hotline before making any cash transactions initiated by a stranger,” they said.
In January, the New Taipei City Police Department said that a woman in her 80s was allegedly robbed of NT$9,000 by a man who falsely claimed that he was delivering a computer for her son.
The imposter had apparently knocked on the woman’s door at about 4pm or 5pm, anticipating that the son would be absent, the department said.
A box that was handed over contained a monitor, microphone and speakers, but no computer, it said.
When the woman called her son at 7pm about the delivery, he told her that he did not order a computer and the woman then called the police, it added.
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