The Daily Telegraph

Gym locker thieves hacked phone to steal £8,000

- By Catherine Lough

A GYM user has revealed how thieves broke into her phone and spent thousands of pounds after raiding her locker.

Charlotte, from west London, who asked for her full name to be withheld, said thieves stole all of her belongings from the Virgin Active gym in Chiswick, including her bank card and phone, before draining more than £8,000 from her accounts.

While she believes they accessed her card’s Pin through the mobile banking app, Santander accused her of sharing her details with friends or even writing them on the card itself.

The thieves reset Charlotte’s bank details as well as her Apple Pay security, and managed to transfer £10,000 from her savings account to her current account before running up bills at two Apple Stores and Selfridges.

Charlotte was also critical of the gym, saying the security barriers were not working and “no one was ensuring those entering were genuine members”.

Because she had been defrauded, she expected the bank to return her money.

But it said that while some purchases had been blocked she would still be left £5,000 poorer. She added she was “rudely and bluntly” told it was her fault because the thieves used her Pin.

After she turned to social media, the bank phoned her to apologise and has paid her £750 in compensati­on.

A Santander spokesman said it was investigat­ing the case as a matter of urgency. Virgin Active said it is helping police with their inquiries and “fully investigat­ing” the circumstan­ces.

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