Conman swindles Honiton director’s firm for £8,500 - by pretending to be from NatWest

PUBLISHED: 16:30 30 July 2018 | UPDATED: 09:37 31 July 2018

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A director at a Honiton company says she is afraid to pick up the phone after a scammer swindled her firm’s business bank account to the tune of £8,500.

Angie Bright, who runs Allan Bright and Son, on Old Chard Road, was conned out of the money after receiving a call from a person purporting to a member of NatWest’s fraud team.

Angie, 69, said she still feels sick from the incident, on July 3, and is facing a battle to win back the stolen money from NatWest.

She added: “He [the scammer] called me up, said he was from NatWest’s fraud team, and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) were trying to taking £19,000 from me. I said I didn’t owe them anything.

“He then said the best thing to do would be to clear my account so HMRC would not be able to take it.”

Angie said the caller told her he knew her bank manager’s name and offered directions on how to move the money from one account to another he had created.

He even spoke to Angie’s daughter to clarify his position when she voiced her concerns to her mum.

Angie added: “He gave me an account number and a sort code to transfer the money to.

“Within seconds of transferring the money, he had taken it.”

It could have got even worse for Angie after the man enquired about the balance in her personal account. Fortunately, Angie’s bank called her before the caller could get his hands on it.

Angie added: “It makes me feel sick. I am afraid to answer the phone - it’s just awful.

“NatWest said it cannot do anything because I authorised the transaction. I am still chasing them up.”

Angie is now urging residents to be careful when answering the phone to anyone purporting to be from their bank.

A NatWest spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, we have been unable to reimburse our customer for the funds they lost as a result of this scam as they explicitly authorised the payment from their account.”

They added: “We sympathise with our customers who have been the victim of a scam and appreciate that this has been a very distressing experience for them. We take our responsibilities to preventing scams very seriously and would remind customers to remain vigilant against any type of scam.

“Customers should never make a payment or divulge full security credentials at the request of someone over the phone even if they claim to be calling from your bank.”

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