Scammers clean out Gran’s savings
A FURIOUS grandmother has condemned Wokingham’s NatWest bank after claiming scammers stole thousands of pounds from her account.
The 64 year-old, who has asked not to be named, says the branch has still not returned the money three months after it was taken.
She claimed staff ignored her requests for help so she has now lodged an official complaint with the banking ombudsman.
Speaking to The Wokingham Paper, the angry pensioner said: “I am absolutely disgusted not only that scammers were able to steal my money so easily, but also at the lack of care or concern.
“The branch promised to investigate and keep me up to date but they have never contacted me once since it happened three months ago.
“I got fed up going into the Wokingham branch to check on progress. I ended up going to the one in Reading where I was taken seriously.
“Despite repeated assurances that something would be done, my money is still missing.
“I am a pensioner and I can’t afford to lose the amount of money that I have. “I am struggling and at my wits end.” The scam happened after a man called the woman’s house warning that her two NatWest accounts had been compromised.
She said he advised her to transfer cash into another account he claimed was with the same bank but turned out to be one with the TSB.
“He called me at home, knew my account numbers and even my mother’s maiden name. He spoke very politely and was authoritative,” added the grandmother. “I didn’t give him any information except to confirm who I was.
“I went to the Wokingham branch the next day and discovered I only had £11 left in my account. The staff put a block on all transactions and rang their fraud team. Since then, I have heard nothing despite promises to keep me informed.
“I have heard reports that scammers are targeting people over 50. I am not some doddering old woman who handed out her bank details to a stranger.
“I don’t know how the scammers got hold of my bank information or telephone number let alone my mother’s maiden name.”
The woman says she contacted the ombudsman after two complaints to the Wokingham branch went unanswered.
“I will now have to wait a few more weeks while my case is investigated. Meanwhile, I still don’t have the money that was taken which has caused me a lot of hardship.”
A spokesperson for NatWest told The
Wokingham Paper: “We sympathise with the customer and appreciate that this has been a very distressing experience for her.
“We take our responsibilities to preventing scams very seriously and would remind customers to remain vigilant against any type of scam. Customers should never make a payment or divulge full security credentials at the request of someone over the phone purporting to be from their bank.
“At NatWest we would never ask a customer to move money to another account to keep it safe from fraud. If a customer receives such a request, they should decline this and report it to their bank immediately on a phone number they can trust.
“We would also recommend that they call back from their mobile phone or wait 30 seconds before calling back from their landline if they do not have a different device.”