March 26, 2024

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. Four months later, I’m still waiting for my bank, the Co-operative, to decide on a resolution. Without help from my family, I would be destitute. 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.
JK, Newcastle upon Tyne

This scam started with a call from a conman pretending to be from the Co-operative Bank’s fraud team, who knew enough of your personal details to trick you into trusting him. Over several hours, he persuaded you to transfer money held with Virgin Money and Halifax to your Co-op account, claiming it would evade a cyber-attack. Virgin blocked the transfer of £10,000. You were therefore told to transfer your £14,720 help-to-buy loan, held with Halifax, in two instalments. The first £10,000 went through, but Halifax blocked the second payment. The Co-op was, apparently, not so vigilant and allowed you to pay the £10,000 transferred from Halifax and the £2,600 already in your savings account to the fraudster.

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