Martin Lewis shares tips for checking scams
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Scammers are targeting vulnerable Britons with a significant rise in complaints received by the Financial Ombudsman Service over the last year. One Newcastle resident lost more than £12,000 in a bank scam and says it has left them depressed and unable to work.
One resident from Newcastle upon Tyne wrote to The Guardian to complain that a fraudster had left them destitute after tricking them into parting with £12,650.
JK from Newcastle wrote: “I fell victim to a banking scam and reported it to my bank within a couple of hours, but the transactions had already gone through and I have lost £12,650.”
JK continued: “I have been unable to work for a year due to severe depression and anxiety.
“I’ve been recently diagnosed with autism and am awaiting a claim for the employment and support allowance.
“I have explained all this to the bank and told them of the distress it is causing.
“I had hoped the autism diagnosis would help me to understand and tackle my mental health difficulties so that I could work again, but this has smashed my confidence.”
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Since writing in, the matter has been resolved but the Ombusdman said there are many more cases that highlight more needs to be done to stop scammers from stealing people’s cash.
For the first time in over a decade, current accounts were the most complained about product, with consumers complaining 6,911 times.
On its website, the FOS said: “For the first time in over a decade, current accounts were the most complained about product, with consumers bringing 6,911 complaints to the service.
“This is an increase of 55 percent when compared to the same period last year, when the ombudsman service received 4,466 complaints about current accounts.”
Meanwhile, a scam warning was issued after research from Action Fraud found that £10.3million has been lost to courier scams since the start of 2021.
Courier fraud is when the victim receives a phone call from a criminal masquerading as someone from the bank.
Victims are convinced to withdraw cash from their bank accounts before someone is sent to their home to collect it.
Alternatively, fraudsters convince their victim to transfer money to a different bank account.
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Action Fraud said scammers can trick anyone but 64 percent of cases were pensioners aged between 70 and 89.
What’s more, three-quarters of victims of courier fraud are aged between 60 to 99.
It advises people that banks or the police will never call to ask for personal details or PIN over the phone.
People should hang up if they receive a call like this and report it to Action Fraud or their bank immediately.
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