There is a very common scam where the scammer calls to tell you that your bank account has been hacked in some way and your money is no longer safe. But they will help you to move it immediately to a safe account.
Several years ago, Mrs X was caught out by this scam.
Mrs. X received a call claiming to be from her bank to tell her that her account had been compromised and it was unsafe to leave money in it. Also, that the perpetrator was a bank employee so Mrs. X should not phone them directly. In order to catch the perpetrator and save Mrs. X’s money, it needed to be moved immediately to another bank, to a safe account the caller had set up for her.
The caller was very persuasive and determined but Mrs X wanted to check the story.
She then called her bank and was assured the story was correct and Mrs X agreed to the transfer.
Mrs X didn’t realise that the scammer had left the phone line open so she was in fact talking to another of the scamming team rather than her bank. They had even faked the ring tone.
She didn’t give the caller the information he wanted but instead went into the bank to transfer the money and it was transferred to another bank which Mrs X now believed was her new safe account. Her bank made no attempt to query such an action even though they knew this scam had been used before.
Her husband Mr. X heard what had happened and realised there was a problem. He contacted both banks and the supposedly safe account had been largely emptied but the remaining money was then blocked from being removed.
The scammer called Mrs. X to ask for the block to be removed (these people have no shame) and the call was recorded by the Police, but the Police made no real progress in tracking the scammers.
The end result is that after months of effort and legal involvement (and the Press), the two banks did return much of the money that was stolen but some was permanently lost.
Do not trust a cold caller unless they can prove who they are and you can independently verify their story.
Do not be pushed into precipitate action by a caller’s story. Take your time and consider your actions carefully where money is involved.
Always be aware there while most people are honest, there are some who will stop at nothing to steal from you.
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