CONSUMER NEWS FROM CHECKACO: bride-to-be loses £20,000 put aside for her wedding to ‘double bluff’ bank scam

Bank scam warning

She was young, clued up and knew all about phone scams but she still got ripped off in a ‘double bluff’ scam. That’s a scam where the scammer is questioned by the victim who then to prove they are genuine passes them to a so-called official who gives them a crime reference number and helps them by overcome their fears. And it was all set up by an apparent email from Hermes the delivery people.

The Guardian’s Anna Timms has given some advice to a reader who had fallen for the scam and who has not been re-imbursed by her bank. She said in part of her conclusion: “I believe that the bank’s security processes were inadequate in your case, given that it has far more awareness of scammer tactics than the average customer. Despite the fact that the name on the recipient account did not match the name you thought you were paying, and that the transactions in and out of your account were highly unusual, it did not attempt to block them and question you further.”

The reader said: “It began with two texts, purportedly from Hermes and six days apart, requiring two £1.50 admin fees to reschedule two missed deliveries. Since I was expecting a Hermes delivery of a sofa, I wasn’t suspicious, and I used the link to pay the two fees with my Revolut and Nationwide debit cards.

“Three days later I was called by an agent claiming to be from Revolut, who told me my account had been compromised by a phishing attack. I was then contacted by a caller who said they were from Nationwide. I checked the phone number on Google and it appeared to be genuine. I was told I was being transferred to the “national fraud agency” and given a case number. Eventually, with plausible explanations, they persuaded me to move £20,000 from my Nationwide to my Revolut account, and then to another newly opened account in my name.

“Several generic scam alerts did pop up on the Revolut app, but the caller reassured me it was because it was a new account. At this point I was crying, but I was so caught up in trying to escape the first phishing scam and the belief that they were helping me that I did what they said. By the time I realised I had been scammed, the money was gone.”

A number of cases have now come to light involving victims with Revolut bank accounts. The Mirror reported on 26-year-old Alina Portnova who fell for the same con this time with fraudsters telling her to move cash from her Barclays account acter crooks had tried to access it. Once the £5,672 was moved the fake bank officials asked her to move the cash into a safe holding account and from there they moved the money to their own bank – where ever that is.

Other cases include customers with HSBC and Lloyds bank accounts and the victims tend to be young women. In some cases, Revolut have repaid the stolen money but none for the case that Anna Timms investigated.

That’s because they haven’t signed up to the bank voluntary scheme, called the Contingent Reimbursement Model (CRM), that require signatory banks to detect and prevent payment scams and to compensate the soaring numbers of fraud victims who have not been unduly negligent. Clearly something is wrong here – with the advice being never accept a phone call from a bank claiming your account has been compromised until you get definitive proof it is genuine.

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