A Sunderland mum is urging people not to fall victim to the telephone con that emptied her bank account.
Angela Armstrong was at home in Fairmead Way in South Hylton on Sunday, when she took a call from someone claiming to be from her bank.
“They told me they were from Lloyd’s Bank fraud department and they had concerns about my account,” she said.
“They said ‘Have you purchased anything on-line today?’ and when I said ‘No,’ they said it appeared someone had tried to used my card at Argos.
“They said they were concerned about it and would have to close my bank account down. They were going to open a new bank account for me and I could go to the bank on Monday and draw my money out.”
The fraudsters provided Angela, 51, with an alternative bank account number and sort-code and told her to log on to her on-line account and transfer the contents - just over £190 - to the new account.
It was only when she had done so that alarm bells began to ring as a result of the caller’s continued questions.
“It appears the account they gave me was actually a Halifax account, but that will have gone now. They will have withdrawn the money straightaway.
“I went to the bank on Monday morning and explained what has happened - I was in a right state,” said the mum-of-two.
“I read the fraud warning posters that were up and they were describing exactly what the man was saying on the phone.”
Angela accepts she will not be able to claim her money back: “They said I could not claim because I had not asked for any ID or phoned them back. They are saying it is my fault, which I know it is.”
Now she wants to make sure no-one else falls for the same scam.
“They were quite convincing - I just fell for it,” she said.
“They were very professional and knew exactly what they were doing.”
Northumbria Police has issued advice on staying safe on-line:
Never disclose your PIN or online / telephone banking log-in information or card reader codes to anyone, even if the caller claims to be from the bank or police. Remember, banks NEVER call and ask you to disclose these security details.
If you receive a call requesting your PIN, card details or on-line/telephone banking log-in information, end the call immediately.
If you receive a suspicious or unexpected call, always verify the caller by taking their phone number and getting it checked independently.
Ensure elderly relatives and neighbours are aware of the fraud and crime prevention advice.
Report any suspicious phone calls to police straight away on 101.
Further advice is available from the police or Action Fraud tel 03001232040.
For up to date advice members of the public can contact Action Fraud - the UK’s national, government led, fraud reporting centre which offers advice, support and prevention advice on fraud including fraud types, trends and current national scams - www.actionfraud.co.uk - access via Northumbria Police web site - Action Fraud.