‘I broke down in tears – lost so much money!’ Woman ‘absolutely devastated’ by scam tactic

Rip Off Britain: Woman explains how she was scammed

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Victims are sent a message asking them to click a link to pay delivery fees for a package that they have missed. Once clicking the link, they are directed to a highly convincing Royal Mail website to put in their bank details to pay their debt.

During lockdown, former guide dog trainer Zia Clayton, 47 said using home delivery services “had been an absolute lifeline”.

Zia has cerebral palsy and said home delivery is a “very important part of my life at the moment because of my disability.”

On average, she used to receive about two deliveries a week.

On Rip Off Britain, viewers saw Zia lose over £15,000, money she wanted to use for a house deposit.

When Zia received a text from someone who appeared to be Royal Mail asking her to pay an outstanding £1.99 parcel delivery charge, she thought nothing of it.

She clicked on the link supplied.Thinking it was the best course of action, she clicked on the link supplied.

She explained: “It looked like the Royal Mail, it looked exactly legit.”

Zia was asked to enter her personal details and bank details.

She then received a call which purported to be from her bank’s fraud team, asking her to transfer money to a safer account because there had been suspicious activity on her own.

She said: “He was explaining that people that were trying to get on to my account.

“Transferring this money will make it safe.

“He was very convincing and I did believe him.”

Zia made two transfers from two different bank accounts.

In total, she transferred £15,360, but only realised she had been scammed once her friend intervened.

She added: “I was absolutely devastated and broke down in tears because I knew that I had lost so much money.”

Zia immediately contacted her bank to tell them what had happened.

One of her banks agreed to refund 50 percent of the money. They returned over £4,500.

She continued: “I wanted to put the money towards a house and obviously I can’t do that now.

“The lessons that I learned was to be very cautious with text messages and phone numbers that you don’t know.

“Just be extra careful.”

Luckily Zia had £15,029 refunded to her, however her banks could not reward her the full amount as they believed she did not take the necessary steps to protect herself, however they did apologise and admit they should have questioned the transactions as they were out of character for her.

Katherine Hart, lead officer at the Chartered Trading Standards said that this scam has reached “epic proportions”, however there are ways for people to protect themselves.

She said: “Don’t click on the links, and then go and have a look at the official websites or ring an official number and clarify.

“All the legitimate agencies will be glad to hear from you because nobody wants there branding to be used by these criminals.”

The episode aired in May 2021, but as scammers continue to target victims, the warning remains relevant today.

Source: Read Full Article