Fake en­gi­neer stole £7,700

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - FRONT PAGE -

The day after we re­ported in­ter­net prob­lems to our broad­band provider it called me to say an en­gi­neer would ring in the next few hours to sort them out. An ap­point­ment was ar­ranged but then, per­haps coin­ci­den­tally, I had a call within the hour from some­one else. I pre­sumed it was the en­gi­neer.

After be­ing on the phone for three hours to the per­son try­ing pur­port­edly to re­solve the broad­band is­sue he said he wanted to com­pen­sate me with £255. Our bank, HSBC, rang me to re­port an unusual trans­ac­tion, but I missed the call. The bank then took it upon it­self to let a pay­ment of £1,989 go out of the ac­count and there­after there were an­other 12 trans­ac­tions within two hours. All of these to­gether to­talled £7,715.

This should never have been al­lowed as very few trans­ac­tions are made on the ac­count.

HSBC has re­fused to com­pen­sate us. Can you re­solve this mat­ter? JW, SOUTH WEST ENG­LAND

This was your hus­band’s busi­ness ac­count, which you have au­thor­ity to ac­cess. It hap­pened dur­ing a fes­tive pe­riod that was a very busy time for your small busi­ness. You are still shocked and hazy about some of the de­tails.

Per­haps the caller knew there was a cur­rent broad­band out­age and rang you sus­pect­ing that you were in touch with your broad­band provider. Or it may have been a broader “phish­ing” ex­er­cise. Ei­ther way you pre­sumed it was the en­gi­neer call­ing and gave enough away for him to take ad­van­tage.

It seems that once you had ac­cessed your com­puter you were en­cour­aged to down­load soft­ware that gave ac­cess to all the in­ter­net ser­vices. He seemed very pleas­ant and chatty but after you had done this the im­pos­tor was creep­ily watch­ing your ev­ery in­ter­net move. While

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