Scammers take out £20,000 loan in woman’s name
SCAMMERS are using a simple con to get into online bank accounts.
Last week, a Cardiff woman had a £20,000 high-interest loan taken out in her name after she fell victim to the trick.
Katie, 29, said: “A man rang and said he was from the NatWest fraud team and that there had been unusual transactions on my account.
“He said that £600 had been spent at an Argos in Scotland and he was calling to make sure it is not me. He said he would go through some security checks. I have had a lot of calls with banks and it sounded like a normal call.”
According to Katie, she did not have that much in her account and she immediately worried she had been overdrawn.
She said: “Once we had talked for a bit he said that he had just noticed something on the account and wanted to speak to his manager. Then he came back and said they had been transferring between my accounts. Then he said that he would send me a verification code and I should read it back to him.”
She then received a text with a code on that she read out. What she didn’t realise was that the clever scammer was using it to set up the NatWest app on his phone in her name.
“He must have been setting up an online banking app and I had just given him the verification code,” she said.
“Next he wanted to check my other details. He asked for the fourth and fifth letters in my password. He was using those to get into my account.”
At this point Katie was suspicious. She said: “I asked how do I know that this is not a scam and he said ‘What do you want to know?’ He had already got into my account by then so he was able to give me details about individual transactions.
“He then said that I should delete my online banking app. That way I couldn’t see what he was doing.”
It was only later that evening that she realised that something was amiss.
“My step-dad works in a bank and he said to ring NatWest myself to make sure it is not a scam. I called them and they said they hadn’t rung,” she said.
“They cancelled my card and online banking and told me to do a master reset on my phone. I feel so stupid knowing what he was doing. I was obviously quite upset at the time because he said someone was spending my money and I didn’t have that much in my account.”
It was a few days later that Katie realised what they had done with her details.
She received a letter saying she had been approved for a loan and the £20,000 was now in her account.
The account had been frozen so the scammers couldn’t get their hands on the cash.
“After I realised I was just so angry,” she said.
“I am not an angry person but they fact that someone can do that in person – it is more human than a mass email. It feels like a violation of my personal details and change my number.”
In a statement a NatWest spokesman said: “We sympathise with anyone who has fallen victim to a scam. Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and we’d encourage all our customers to be especially vigilant when transferring large amounts of money.
“We also have regular customer education messages advising customers that the bank will never phone them and ask them to transfer money or provide their security details”. I am going to