A postmaster has turned scambuster to stop villagers from being conned.
Shepley Post Office sub-postmaster John Gledhill says he’s prevented dozens of his customers from coughing up cash to conmen and women.
John has spoken out after reading about his Salendine Nook Post Office colleague, Mohammed Khan, who has been praised for stopping a customer sending a £2,300 MoneyGram to China.
Mr Gledhill said he too had recently prevented someone from sending £3,000 to America to have their computer fixed.
And he has urged local people to not be embarrassed about asking his opinion if they are sending money to strangers.
He said: “Typically I get pensioners who are sending off £50 or so postal orders to enter a competition.
“I’ve stopped loads of these as I usually ask them why they want a postal order.
“It’s especially obvious if they are sending a postal order abroad as they are only valid in the UK.
“One lady told me she was going to win £1m. But I’ve heard of another who lost £4,000 to a scam.
“More recently things have changed and we’ve had customers who’ve had messages saying they’ve got a virus on their computer and they need to send a MoneyGram off and it will get sorted.
“I’ve only sold six MoneyGrams in the last 12 years so I’m suspicious as there aren’t many foreigners in this village that need to send money abroad.
“There’s absolutely no way to get your money back if you send a MoneyGram.
“I had an old chap come in and say he wanted to send £3,000 to New York to fix his computer.
“I advised him to get it fixed locally and his wife came in later to say she was so pleased I’d stopped him.
“Three days later another person came in with exactly the same story, saying they wanted to send £350 to Thailand.
“They seem embarrassed and they just go along with it.
“This chap was convinced he had broken the internet and this was the only way he could get it back.
“It’s becoming a daily problem.
“I would urge people to check with me if they’re sending off postal orders or MoneyGrams.
“I won’t ask them how they got involved but I might be able to stop them from losing money.”
Mr Gledhill said he thought the so called Silver Surfer generation should be taught more about spam and the dangers of responding to approaches online.
He also warns against entering competitions from newspapers that require a significant entry or admin fee.
The Citizens Advice Bureau hosts information on avoiding scams.