A Glasgow woman has been left ‘distraught’ after falling victim to a bank scam that drained the family’s accounts.
Catherine LeMay said her children’s accounts were also affected and wanted to share her experience to alert others to the fraud.
She said she responded to a text message “from the Post Office” about a missed parcel on Tuesday and followed a link to book it again.
Ms LeMay, who lives in west Glasgow, said it happened on the run to school when she was ‘rushed and pissed off’ and so did not check for authenticity of the website. She paid £1.15 for a redelivery.
However, she told a friend who warned her it might be a scam.
She said: “I looked at the website again and realized it was a replica and promptly phoned Santander to cancel my card. The card was not used, so I was pretty calm at this point.
Two days later, again as she was preparing to pick up her children from school, she received a phone call from “Mark de Santander” who spoke with an English accent and said he belonged to the fraud department and wanted to discuss unusual activity. on his account.
She said: “I asked if he was from the bank and he asked me to open the internet and check the phone number.
“It was a number from Santander. He was on the phone for over an hour telling me about the ‘Fishing Scam’ package which affected 36,000 people across the UK, including me.
She said he asked her about a £1.15 payment and then gave her a security check, which she said eased her fears about the authenticity of the call.
She said: ‘He said he was looking at my account and could see a lot of suspicious activity including three attempts to apply for credit cards in my name, porn websites trying to take money, sex shops mobile phones were trying to take direct debits, etc. and he mentioned that a Samsung phone in Liverpool was connected to my online banking.”
She said he then told her that he was going to open a new account for her and that she would have to transfer her funds because “all her money was at risk”.
She said: ‘He ‘randomly generated’ a new account number and sort code so I could put the money into my new account without alerting the scammers who would try to get all my money back if they realized this. what I was doing.”
She said she was still unsure, but then he sent her a security text message claiming to be from Santander.
She said: “In the cold light of day I look quite naive, but in the face of the heightened state of panic I just wasn’t thinking right and thought I was doing the right thing. to save our money.
“He was so helpful saying there were gangs operating in Liverpool but I shouldn’t have worried as they were going to make sure my accounts were safe.”
She made two payments to this “new account”, but in doing so her husband called her to say that Santander had been in touch to alert the family to the fraud. By then, the fraudster had hung up “with all the family savings”.
She said she had “not stopped crying” since Thursday and reported the scam to the police. She is due to speak to Santander later today for an update on her lost savings.
She said: “My faith in humanity is at an all time low.”
The Herald has contacted Santander for comment.