I’ve been scammed

 1 November 2021 |

How many times have you heard about a scam and thought ‘was the scammed person so gullible’?

Recently I was working at home as I had tested Covid positive and had to see out the isolation period. I had a work computer but it was extremely slow and I was already behind. The landline rang and I answered. It was supposedly BT. Normally I would have put the phone down but the Indian lady on the phone explained my internet speed was slow and there was a problem with the security. Slow speed is just what I was experiencing albeit on a different computer and I bought the idea . I was asked to use my computer to enter a (legitimate) site which showed the speed.The fact that the terms used meant nothing to me and I did not know if the speed indicated was fast or slow nevertheless I carried on the conversation. I was put onto her ‘technical expert’ , an Indian man. It just happens that this is quite likely to happen when I contact the IT help desk at work so I continued talking to him. Both were polite and spoke pleasantly. I proceeded to follow their instructions and without recognising what was happening allowed them access to my bank account which they then began to empty.

I am extremely grateful that I have all the money back in my account. I think the bank were not entirely on the ball when the scam happened and maybe that spurred them to sort it out for me but I acknowledge I was very foolish. Hindsight is wonderful and I cannot believe I was so taken in. That is why I am telling you this. I had thought I was able to resist scams but the scammers are clever and plausible and know exactly how to play that game. Since then I have heard similar tales. One young woman was occupied feeding her baby when a caller purporting to be from the fraud department at her bank called. It was only when the very affable woman on the line used a swear word that the young woman recognised the scam and phoned her bank to discover she had only just managed to prevent her life savings being lifted from her account. She was traumatised for quite a time after that.

I now realise that my husband’s scepticism about all telephone calls except those from well recognised callers is very wise and I will in future follow his example. He didn’t quite say I told you so but he had every right to do so.

Jill Pipe