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scammed out of £525.000

(169 Posts)
lemsip Tue 10-May-22 12:07:29

On Rip off Britain earlier to day available on Bbc iplayer.
A lady received a phone call telling her of fraudulent staff at her bank...She was persuaded to 'move 525 thousand pounds...

Smileless2012 Tue 10-May-22 12:13:33

I couldn't believe what I was hearing lemsip. She'd had warning calls from her bank, been asked about it when she was in the branch and had two visits from the police urging caution.

I think Lloyds managed to recover £50K but couldn't do any more because they'd done their best to warn her, so her total loss was £475K.

FarNorth Tue 10-May-22 12:18:17

I wonder why she chose to believe the original caller and not everyone else, including the police.

Kate1949 Tue 10-May-22 12:18:23

Oh how awful.

Witzend Tue 10-May-22 12:36:08

FarNorth

I wonder why she chose to believe the original caller and not everyone else, including the police.

Judging by what happened to an elderly neighbour (massive ‘lottery’ scam, around £100k down the drain) these bastard thieves can be extremely clever at being so incredibly nice and friendly towards their victims, and urging them not to listen to anyone else, who will only be jealous, wanting to stop them gaining an advantage, etc.

One thing I learned from that episode, was that these evil people have ‘suckers’ lists’, i.e. lists of people likely to be naive and easily conned. List are apparently compiled and sold on.

In our neighbour’s case (she had never used the internet) she had long been addicted to those Wordsearch ‘competitions’, where you very conveniently phone in all your details at God knows how much per minute.
Perfect scam fodder, IMO.

The person (female) who initially drew her in on the phone, said she was from NatWest Bank. By the time we knew what was going on, the scammers had established such a ‘warm and friendly’ rapport with her, she refused absolutely to believe that they were just heartless criminals, relieving her of her money. 🙁

lemsip Tue 10-May-22 12:43:56

yes a normally formidable intelligent lady who believed she was assisting the 'police'.......The very important sounding 'police officer' on the phone.

Oldwoman70 Tue 10-May-22 12:53:24

Reminds me of an incident some years go. An taxi driver picked up an elderly lady to take her to the bank. During the journey she told him she had received a phone call from her bank head office telling her there had been some suspicious activity on her bank account, to transfer the money to an account number they had given her but not mention it to the bank tellers as the fraudster worked at the bank. The taxi driver was concerned and instead of just dropping her off went into the bank with her and explained the situation to a bank official who checked her account and convinced her it was a scam and called the real police.

Kate1949 Tue 10-May-22 12:54:37

I've just watched a man on This Morning whose 76 year old mum had this happen to her. The supposed suitor took everything she had. She wouldn't listen to anyone. She eventually became ill, stopped cleaning her house and looking after herself, subsequently she died.
After she died, her son went to her house and found a wedding dress and two wedding rings she had bought. Also a photo of herself in the dress. How utterly heartbreaking.

Witzend Tue 10-May-22 13:08:23

Kate1949

I've just watched a man on This Morning whose 76 year old mum had this happen to her. The supposed suitor took everything she had. She wouldn't listen to anyone. She eventually became ill, stopped cleaning her house and looking after herself, subsequently she died.
After she died, her son went to her house and found a wedding dress and two wedding rings she had bought. Also a photo of herself in the dress. How utterly heartbreaking.

How utterly tragic, Kate1949.

I’m reminded of a different sort of very cruel con, years ago now, when a terrorist pretended to be in love with a naive and trusting Irish girl. He told her they would get married in Israel, and arranged for her to book her flight, and take with her - besides her own wedding dress - a small suitcase of his own things.

Luckily the El Al staff were very much on the ball and picked up from the start that this was a very unusual person to be travelling to Israel on her own. So she was stopped and investigated at check-in.

The suitcase she’d been asked to take contained a bomb that would have killed her and everyone else on that plane.

I’ve often wondered how that poor girl ever got over - if she ever did - the realisation that he’d pretended to be in love with her, purely in order to blow her up, along with the plane and many other people.

Kate1949 Tue 10-May-22 13:18:25

That's very frightening Witzend. There are some horrible people out there.

Purplepixie Tue 10-May-22 13:22:23

Witzend - that is horrific! It’s a good job the staff were on the ball. I think she will be a very traumatised person for a long time.

nandad Tue 10-May-22 13:38:37

Unfortunately fraudsters do work for banks and BS. Husband and I were out for the day. Husband missed a couple of calls to his mobile, then had a text from a BS we have cards with asking him to call them. We suspected it was a scam. We only have the account because of the benefits that come with it but have never used it. We ignored the text. When we got home there was a message on our answering machine from the BS. We phoned the number on the back of the card and it transpired that someone had tried to use both my husband’s card and mine (different account numbers) to make a payment. Because we have never used the cards in the 5 years of the account being open it threw up an alert and stopped the payment. All details had been entered correctly and payment was being made to the same account. A friend who works as a fraud officer told us that it is not uncommon, the thief seeks out accounts that are not used that often in the hope that the transaction will not be noticed until a statement is produced.
People panic if they think their bank are contacting them about fraudulent activity on their account and tend to believe what they are being told. Had we spoken to the BS when we were out we would have wondered if someone had broken into our house and probably returned home.

MerylStreep Tue 10-May-22 13:50:51

I have to say Santander have been brilliant with tracking our card.
Prior to the world shutting down we did an awful lot of travelling in our motohome. We had entered Albania and filled up with diesel. The bank phoned us almost immediately after we had left the garage to ask us where we were.

Millie22 Tue 10-May-22 14:18:16

I find these programmes about scams quite sad really as people genuinely believe what they are told. The worst ones are the romance ones as they seem to be lonely and easily drawn in to parting with their money. There was a woman recently who sent £49k in total to someone she had never even met.

Kate1949 Tue 10-May-22 14:24:35

Sadly that's what happens Millie . Most of them have never met the person. The lady I mentioned above had been sent a fake picture and sold a sob story. She had never met this man and gave him all she had.

AGAA4 Tue 10-May-22 15:11:30

We do have to be alert. I think I have become over suspicious and check everything.
I had a call from Tesco saying the card I had been using for the last 2 years had been rejected for my grocery order and would I give him details of another card.
He had rung on a mobile number. He was a bit annoyed when I told him I would ring Tesco and check

FarNorth Tue 10-May-22 15:39:52

AGAA4 you're quite right .
I've had text messages from a bank & a card provider with a number to call back.
I used the official number, which took a while of course, but that number could have been anyone.
Banks, and others, doing that sort of thing really don't help.

sodapop Tue 10-May-22 15:59:42

Very kind taxi driver Oldwoman wish more people cared about others like that.

Callistemon21 Tue 10-May-22 16:52:25

I heard a couple of similar stories a while ago when people were convinced by scammers that the staff at their bank were the fraudsters.

tickingbird Tue 10-May-22 17:21:09

These stories really upset me. How these evil people sleep at night I don’t know but I hope they pay for their greed 10 times over.

Pepper59 Tue 10-May-22 18:14:12

It's just awful and it seems to be getting worse. These scammers are just so convincing. You need to watch out for fake websites too. It's never ending.

M0nica Tue 10-May-22 19:35:24

I am sorry to see anyone in distress, but when I hear these scam stories, so often underlying it all is greed or unreasonable gullibleness.

The internet has been around now for 30 years, when many of those now scammed were in their late 40s and 50s and in the intervening period the dangers of these scams and how they work have been written about extensively been in the papers, on the radio and on tv. you need to work really hard not to have seen them and been aware of them.

We all have a responsibility to keep ourselves safe, whether in the house, do not put an electric fire on the side of the bath, in case it falls in, outside, do not balance a chair on a table to change a light bulb, do not drive the wrong way down a one way street and that includes being aware of people trying to part you from your money. People had clever schemes to get your money that were advertised in newspapers and sold door to door well before the internet appeared.

Obviously I exclude people who are cognitively challenged, in my criticism, that is different,

It is up to all of us to use our common sense and make sure we are informed of what is happening in the outside world. Its threads and dangers and you do not have to be a technological whizz kid to have this knowledge and act on it.

Serendipity22 Tue 10-May-22 22:16:42

I had a WhatsApp message which began Hi mum, I dropped my old phone in water and now it doesnt work ( or words to that effect ) I have an invoice to pay, can you lend me the money -, blah blah blah. So considering I have 2 AC, it could have been from either, BUT my radar was on red alert by the wording on the message.

I knew my DD hadn't changed her number, so that left my DS, like i say, the wording set my radar off.

Anyway, to cut long story short, they didn't get a penny from me, but some poor, unsuspecting person would have fallen for the cock 'n' bull message....

Makes my blood boil angryangryangry

Kate1949 Tue 10-May-22 23:01:22

Some people in our family have had that WhatsApp Serendipity. Fortunately they had been warned that it was going around.

MissAdventure Tue 10-May-22 23:05:13

I think anybody is at risk of being caught out, given the right circumstances, story, and scammers.

It obviously works well enough that the scammers keep hatching more and more schemes to stay one step ahead.

Given the chance, they are master manipulators.