‘Eaten away at her trust and confidence’ – Pensioner, 83, loses £29,788 to scammers
This Morning: Woman in tears recalling getting scammed
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The woman was made to believe her bank was involved in dodgy dealings, and the police needed her to work undercover for them. The son of the victim shared the story, urging people to be on their guard and help protect their vulnerable peers and family members.
The scam began in August 2021, the victim was contacted on her landline from a man claiming to be a police officer.
He said that her nephew had been arrested whilst in possession of her debit card, from which £1,400 had been spent.
Several phone calls followed, all of which resulted in the victim believing she had spoken to her bank and several detectives.
The scammer ultimately convinced her that her bank was involved with counterfeit bank notes and the police needed her to work undercover for them.
The victim was sworn to secrecy and told to visit her bank and say she needed to withdraw £4,250.
She was not to tell any branch employees why she was doing this, and was instructed to instead say that the money was to help her son.
The scammer then told her to place the cash, her driving licence and bank card in an envelope and was given a security password.
A person posing as a courier collected the envelope, proving that he was the correct person by using the security password.
Over the following days the fraudsters remained in contact with the victim, telling her to move money from her savings into her current account.
Multiple fraudulent transactions were made on her account, with a grand total of £29,788 stolen.
Her son, Brian, commented: “As soon as she told me what had been going on, I knew it was fraud. These scams completely undermine people’s confidence.
“My mother, who is very resilient, now questions everyone she speaks to because it has eaten away at her trust and confidence in people.
“I would urge everyone to trust their own good sense and intuition. If anyone is pressing you for urgency and secrecy, like they did with my mother, that should ring alarm bells. If it is genuine, it can wait.”
This tactic, used by courier fraudsters, typically involve scammers impersonating police officers or bank staff and pressure people into making quick decisions to assist with false investigations.
They may request that victims purchase high value items like Rolex watches, withdraw cash or provide them with a bank card.
These fraudsters specifically note that victims cannot tell anyone about what they are doing, usually saying that it would compromise the investigation.
Action Fraud advised that anyone who receives a suspicious call from someone claiming to be one of these officials follow the below guidance:
- Hang up
- Wait five minutes
- Call back on a trusted, genuine number.
Action Fraud revealed that 3,625 people were victimised by this fraud tactic in 2021, losing a collective total of over £15.2million.
Data from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau noted that women aged between 70 and 89 years old lost over £6.7million to courier fraud in 2021, while men in the same age range lost almost £4.2million.
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