Scam­mers take out £20,000 loan in wo­man’s name

South Wales Echo - - NEWS -

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

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