A Stamford pensioner has been conned out of his life savings after falling victim to a ‘double scam.’
The victim, who is in his 70’s, was targeted by fraudsters at the end of last year and was duped into transferring over £20,000.
The scam was unusual as it was actually a ‘double-scam’ – fraudsters pretended to be from two different companies in separate phone calls.
The first fraudster claimed to work for BT and said that the victim had run up a higher than normal landline phone bill, but was entitled to a ‘special discount’. The scam appeared believable as the fraudster already had many of the victim’s bank account details.
The victim became sceptical and went to visit his local bank, however before he could get there, he received another call – this time from someone claiming to work for the National Crime Agency.
This fraudster said that £400 had been deducted from his bank account, and that his local bank wasn’t to be trusted as a member of staff there was under investigation. He was asked to go to his bank and transfer money to an account to help their investigation. Sadly, the victim did so and transferred £21,500.
This man is the latest victim in nearly *300 telephone impersonation frauds which have been reported to Lincolnshire Police over the last six months.
The victim, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “I’ve travelled the world and have lived in London so I considered myself to be quite savvy apart from with the online world, but I’ve been caught out.
“The call from BT came at about 11am. I was told that my bill was very high but they could offer me a special discount. They already had my long card number and just asked me to confirm my sort code and account number which I did. At the end of the call, I became suspicious and thought I best visit my local bank.
“The phone rang again though, and this time it was from the National Crime Agency. The caller said there had been a wave of discrepancies at my bank and that it was being investigated. They added that £400 had been taken from me and that if I visited the bank and transferred money it would help them to catch the culprit.
“Everything happened very quickly in what turned out to be a complete scam. I bumped into a friend on my way home and I mentioned what had happened, it was just a brief chat but then she came flying back round the corner and said she had checked online and it was a scam.
“I was very distressed, I didn’t sleep well that night and didn’t want to see anyone all weekend so I shut myself away – I felt completely abused. My advice is be cautious, don’t give out any information and put the phone down then call the police if you are in any doubt.”
Detective Constable Marilyn Sayle, from Lincolnshire police said: “We are heartbroken for this man and we are doing all that we can to recover his savings and bring the offenders to justice. This is incredibly sad at any time of the year, but the fact that it has happened in the run up to Christmas makes it even worse.
“It is unusual for a victim to be targeted twice in quick succession like this, but fraudsters will try every trick in the book – if you have caller ID they can even make it look like they are calling from the organisation or authority they say they are from, so you can’t be too careful.
“We all have a duty to protect the vulnerable who are routinely targeted in these crimes, so please look out for those in your local communities and report any concerns.”
If you have been contacted by anyone claiming to be from an organisation or authority asking you for bank details or to purchase items, please call us on 101 or contact Action Fraud on 0300 1232040.
For more information on fraud and scams please visit: https://www.lincs.police.uk/reporting-advice/fraud-and-scams/