John Thompson lost his life savings after being tricked into transferring three payments of £4,900 out of the account he had held for more than 50 years
A great-grandfather who held his money in the same account for more than 50 years has been scammed out of his life savings.
Former firefighter and police officer John Thompson lost almost £15,000 after transferring three payments of £4,900 out of his bank account.
The 91-year-old had software on his landline to block out fraudsters, but was still thwarted by callers pretending to be his local bank in Doncaster.
Now Mr Thompson, who was an assistant inspector with Kenya Police in the 1950s, says he has been left feeling ‘foolish’ and now wants to help prevent others from being targeted by the same fraudsters.
He said: ‘I do feel rather foolish to think I did this and it was a scam – but they were so convincing.
‘I’m not a young man any more – I turned 91 last week. If speaking out helps one other person from falling for the same thing then I’ll be pleased I’ve done it.’
Mr Thompson was targeted on a Friday evening back in May, when he was called by a main claiming to be from the security department of his bank.
Despite using software to screen out unwanted phone calls, the scammers were able to round the technology to make it look like they were calling from his local bank.
Former fire and police officer Mr Thompson (right in his fire uniform) says he feels ‘foolish’ for being scammed (pictured right at home in Doncaster)
Being wary of scammers, Mr Thompson said he had put the phone down the first time they had called, but when they called again 20 minutes later and said he was the bank manager in Doncaster, Mr Thompson stayed on the line.
During the call the man told Mr Thompson that there had been a security breach on his account and that he needed to transfer the funds into a safer one.
How to spot fraud before it’s too late
The Take Five campaign has provided some tips and advice to help spot fraudulent messages.
- A genuine bank or organisation will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, full password or to move money to another account.
- Only give out your personal or financial details to use a service that you have given your consent to, that you trust and that you are expecting to be contacted by.
- Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.
- If you’re approached with a request for personal information, do not provide it….