Carol Duffy fears she won’t be able to pay her rent after being tricked into handing over the money she was saving for her retirement. The 57-year-old grandmother is devastated as she may also have to call off her upcoming wedding.
This is another example of how scammers are getting smarter and smarter, making new efforts to convince their victims that they are genuine.
Ms Duffy added: “It was my pension money and our wedding fund.
“We were going to get married soon, but I don’t know if that will continue now – we have a few payments left which we can no longer afford and we now owe rent on our house.
“It was all our savings. It left me with nothing, they took everything.”
Carol reported the scam to Halifax but only received a partial refund of £823.
A Halifax spokesperson said: ‘Helping to protect our customers’ money is our priority and we have a great deal of sympathy for Ms Duffy as a victim of a scam.
“We thoroughly investigate each individual case and do everything we can to recover the money a victim has lost to fraudsters.
“Unfortunately in this case they authorized the payment despite us blocking the original transaction and providing relevant warnings about the risk of it being a scam.”
“Unfortunately, she did not take enough steps to verify if the call she received from the fraudster was genuine.
“If a customer has any suspicions about their account activity or, as was the case here, about a message or phone call they received, they should call us using the number on the back of their credit card or on our website.
“It’s important for people to know that their bank will never ask them to transfer money to another account.”
People should remain vigilant and report any suspicious messages to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.