Heartless scammers have stolen £4,000 from a vulnerable woman.
Rebecca Stevenson, who suffers from a range of health issues, was left heartbroken when scammers conned her.
The 34-year-old from Washington said she had been having trouble with her internet connection so when someone phoned saying they were from BT, the company she has her connection with, and there was a problem with her router she unfortunately thought it was genuine.
Sadly, the scammers were very convincing and managed to gain access to her laptop saying there were several viruses, she said what looked like a genuine BT message even flashed up.
It was only later in the day, after leaving a hospital appointment for a heart condition, that Rebecca checked her bank account and realised the money, which was compensation money she had been awarded as a victim of a previous crime, had gone.
She said: “It was a devastating shock and I just burst into tears. It has really affected me badly.”
It was a devastating shock and I just burst into tearsRebecca Stevenson
Rebecca’s bank is currently carrying out an investigation into the incident, which happened on Thursday, April 19.
But, Rebecca, who is a volunteer at a Brownie group, says she wants to warn other people to be on their guard.
She said: “I would never have believed this could happen to me because I am always so careful.
“But, they were so plausible, they even gave me a name and date for an engineer who would be coming round.
“Because the internet had been going on and off, I didn’t think anything of it when they phoned and said there was a problem.”
A spokesmam for BT, said: “BT takes the security of its customers’ accounts very seriously. We proactively warn our customers to be on their guard against scams.
“Fraudsters use various methods to ‘glean’ your personal or financial details with the ultimate aim of stealing from you. This can include trying to use your BT bill and account number.
“Our advice is that customers should never share their BT account number with anyone and always shred bills. Be wary of calls or emails you’re not expecting. Even if someone quotes your BT account number, you shouldn’t trust them with your personal information.
“We’ll never ask customers for personal information unexpectedly and we’ll never call from an ‘unknown’ number. If we’re getting in touch about your bill, it will usually be from either 0800 328 9393 or 0800 028 5085.”
He said the company’s website, at www.bt.com/scams, has information about the latest scams and how customers can protect themselves.