An elderly woman from Sheffield has been targeted in a ‘realistic’ bank scam that would have cheated her out of her savings.
Valerie Rigsby, a 79-year-old woman from Crystal Peaks, said she was targeted over the phone by scammers who appeared to know her spending habits and account details.
Mrs Rigsby said the scammers told her that they had reason to believe her account had been hacked, and that she needed to open a new account to transfer all of her money to.
The pensioner said: “They rang me from an unknown number saying that they were from the fraud squad with my bank, they had my account number and knew more-or-less what I’d spent in the past week.”
She said that she had no reason to believe she was being scammed as they had all of her information and seemed as though they really were working for the bank.
Mrs Rigby said: “Luckily. my daughter was there and said it didn’t sound right.”
Her daughter, Helen, rang up Halifax bank while her mum was still on the phone to see if the claims were legitimate, as some of her friends in the area had similar phone calls.
Helen said: “The bank put me straight through to the fraud team and they told me they could see someone was trying to access my mum’s account.”
Mrs Rigsby’s card was immediately frozen by the bank, but was told it would take five days for her to get a new one.
She said she was glad that the scam was stopped but it leaves her with a limited supply of money until her new card arrives.
Mrs Rigsby added: “It was a lucky escape, I wouldn’t have realised it was a scam if my daughter hadn’t been there.”
She said the scam was ‘very clever’ and hopes that people will be more aware of these types of scams so that no one ends up having their money stolen.
You can report fraud or cyber crime to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre, or get advice about fraud by calling 0300 123 2040.