Scam­mers clean out Gran’s sav­ings

The Wokingham Paper - - NEWS - By JAMES HAST­INGS

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.”

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