British woman is scammed out of her life savings

Pensioner issues urgent warning after almost losing her life savings in parcel delivery scam

  • Linda Leary, from the UK, spoke about her ordeal on This Morning today 
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A retired civil servant has revealed how she was conned out of her life savings after scammers pretended to be her bank, who thankfully refunded her the money.  

Linda Leary, 79, from Blackpool, spoke to Alison and Dermot on This Morning today and said it all started when she received an email that a courier service had attempted to deliver a parcel twice.

The fake message stated that if she wanted to have her parcel delivered, she would need to pay fee of £1.99 online.

At the time, Linda checked to see if she was expecting a parcel, and she was, from Amazon.   

She was then asked to put her card details in the website, and Linda saw the site had the padlock symbol in the browser URL, which made her think it was safe.

Linda Leary, from the UK, spoke to Alison and Dermot on This Morning today and said it all started with a fake email from a courier service 

Afterwards, she called her daughter, who urged her to call the bank to block her card.

They said they had cut off the card and issued her a new one.   

But afterwards she got a call from a person who claimed to be a manager at Santander bank.

They told her that although her card was blocked, they still had reason to believe the con artists were trying to access her account.

The man then asked her to transfer her money to a new account in another name to ensure her hard-earned cash would be safe.

But it was not Santander – the scammers had tricked Linda into transferring her life savings to them. 

She said: ‘I said to him, “How do I know I’m speaking to the manager from Santander?” and he said “Well if you look from the phone number that I’m calling from and look at your bank card, you’ll see it’s the same number.”

Their scam expert, Jenny Radcliffe, later revealed how the scammers are able to imitate the bank’s security number.

Dermot and Alison sat down on the This Morning sofa and spoke to Linda about her experience 

She said: ‘It’s a spoofing technology, it’s not actually even illegal to do it unless it’s for nefarious purposes.’

Linda continued by saying: ‘At first I was very anxious because he said somebody had been trying to access the account and he said, “We’re doing this to protect you”.’ 

The scammer took her through the steps of opening a new account while on the phone and she then sent the money across. 

She said: ‘The thing that made me really suspicious was he said “have you got an overdraft account?” 

‘I said “no” and he said, “We’ll start you an overdraft and then you’ve got it there if you need it”.’

Linda questioned why the man was not able to see if she had an overdraft account since he claimed to be a bank manager.

‘I put the phone down at that point and turned my computer off.

‘I phoned the bank and while I was phoning the bank, I logged back in and everything was gone.

‘It was awful. One thing that had worried me as well when we were doing this, you have to get an OTP [one time password] to transfer a lot of money into a different account,’ Linda said.

‘And there’s always warnings on the screens about doing OTPs and I said, “There’s a warning about doing this.”

Scam expert Jenny Radcliffe gave her top tips on how to spot a scam and the red flags to look out for 

‘And he said, “That’s so no unauthorised people can get access to your account, but I’m from the bank.”

Luckily Santander was able to refund Linda all of her money back and she said they ‘were lovely’ with her.

Dermot read a statement from Santander which said: ‘If in doubt whether a service, offer or message is genuine, hang up on someone and get in touch with us before taking any action.

‘Your bank will never ask you to withdraw, transfer or send back money from your accounts to Santander.’

Evri said: ‘We’re sorry to hear this, we’d never ask for bank details from someone who is expecting a delivery.’ 

Jenny said that Linda experienced was a ‘layered con’ and that once you initially click on that text message link it ‘opens the door’ for other scams to take place. 

She also added that it tends to be luck with people who fall for trick, ‘another day, another script, it could be someone else.’

Alison then asked her for the red flags to look out for, to which Jenny said: ‘The big red flag is anything to do with money. Moving money, talking about money being lost, talking about making, sending it, moving it.’

‘We don’t click on anything like that until we check with our bank, separately. 

‘Because one of the things that happens is that number is spoofed, we’ve got to be really sure that when we ring the bank, it is the bank.

‘So I always say is if you’ve been speaking to someone on the phone and they say this is the number, honestly, and I’m super a paranoid security person, I turn that phone off and turn it back on again just in case they are still on the line and can play a recording back to you.’

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