‘I nearly fell for £25,000 phone scam’ – woman’s warning after close call
- Credit: Jamie Honeywood
A Norfolk woman who almost fell victim to a scam in which she would have lost £25,000 said the fear of the experience left her in tears.
Jan Ames, 68, who lives in Ringland, received an automated message on her phone at 8.30am on Monday, November 12. Claiming to be from BT, the voice said that Ms Ames' internet account had been hacked, and that she would receive a phone call to discuss the matter.
Five minutes later, a man rang and asked her to log onto her BT account.
'This person told me to fire up my laptop and he went through details with me. It sounded really authentic. He told me to do this, that and the other,' Ms Ames said.
The man asked the 68-year-old widower for her bank details. Ms Ames asked why he wanted them and he said it was for verification purposes. He told her he would lodge money into her bank account and then 'clean the website up'.
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'And after doing that I'd have to go to the bank and return the money they had put into my bank account,' Ms Ames said.
She logged into what she thought was her own online banking account – it showed a deposit of £25,000.
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Ms Ames said: 'He wanted me to go to my local bank within 10 minutes. He insisted it had to be done within 10 minutes. I was getting suspicious. I said I can't go to the bank in 10 minutes. I made up a story and said the doctor was coming. He said if you don't do it, I'll lose my job.'
The name of the company the man wanted Ms Ames to transfer the money to was Piri Cleaning Services.
Ms Ames put the phone down. The same number called again six more times but she did not answer.
Instead she phoned BT. The company said it had not called and that it was a scam.
Ms Ames then contacted her bank, which said no money had been transferred into her account.
'What people can do is set up an account that tells you the money has been transferred, and they expect you to transfer it back,' she said. 'What concerned me was I very nearly fell for it... It frightened the life out of me. I was in tears. I could not believe I had let myself be drawn into it.'
A National Trading Standards initiative, Friends Against Scams, attempts to tackle lack of awareness about scams by providing information about them. It runs educational sessions either with a member of the NTS scams team or online.
For more information visit www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk