‘Can happen anytime!’ Nationwide issues warning as Briton targeted for £18,000 in scam

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Nationwide is on the lookout in attempts to help protect people from being victimised by scams. The building society shared the story of one individual who was having building work completed on their property, when they became attacked in this way.

The company in question had already completed some of the work, for which the individual had written a cheque – and at this point, everything seemed legitimate.

The only thing the person was waiting for was an email from the builder with instructions on how to make the outstanding payment of £15,000 plus VAT.

When an email popped through which seemed to be from the builder, the Briton quickly made the payment – however, failed to check any of the information contained within.

It was therefore horrifying when the builder called the individual to inform them their email account had been compromised.

The person had not, in fact, corresponded with their builder, but a devious scammer looking to take advantage.

Thankfully, through contacting Nationwide the building society was able to block the payment to stop it going through.

All in all, the person had been targeted for about £18,000 which they were just able to keep through Nationwide’s intervention.

The building society stepped in to discuss these type of scams and prevent the person falling victim again.

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However, sadly not everyone is so lucky when it comes to being targeted and some could actually lose their money for good. 

Ed Fisher, Head of Fraud Policy at Nationwide, said: “When it comes to paying for the work it’s always important to make sure that any emails you receive are genuine.

“Email scams can happen at any time, whether the work has been done properly or not. 

“It’s important to be careful when receiving requests for payment over text or email as fraudsters have the capability to intercept these and make subtle changes to account details which will divert the payment to them.

“Ring the tradesperson on a number you know is theirs and double check the account details. 

“If anything in the email header looks odd, don’t send the money.”

Individuals have also been warned they could be targeted by rogue traders – chancers who are on the hunt for the perfect opportunity. 

People can be conned out of their hard-earned money for work that is either shoddy or not done at all.

More than two in five of those asked have or know someone who has had work done on their property to such a poor standard that it required fixing or redoing.

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Despite poor quality work, more than a third said they money they paid was not refunded.

Of the 48 percent who did get some back, only one in five were fully refunded.

Mr Fisher added: “When choosing a tradesperson or company to do work on your home, it’s important to get multiple quotes and check reviews and previous work before making a decision.

“While it might be tempting to go for the cheapest quote, it could end up costing you more further down the line if you have to redo or fix the original work. 

“And don’t pay the full amount up front – reputable tradespeople don’t require full payment until the work has been completed and will not pressure you into a payment.”

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