Yesterday, a 70-year-old grandmother, Marie, was left without money for bills, food, or Christmas presents when her bank account was emptied by scammers claiming to be from BT.
She is normally very careful with her bank details, said Marie's granddaughter, Aimee,
but these people used a story that sounded genuine to her as she was currently moving from BT to Talk Talk for her internet and so expected calls from both companies.
They convinced my Nan to give them remote access to her PC and asked for her bank details so they could process a refund, then they immediately emptied her bank account.
Marie's daughter, Karen, immediately contacted her mother's bank, Nationwide to try and reverse the transaction. Nationwide refused to do so claiming this was a legitimate transaction.
We like a lot of people, assumed Nationwide would just refund, said Karen,
but because she gave her bank details to them, they are saying it was authorised, which is unbelievable.
Marie had been saving for a trip to Australia to see her mother whose health is declining. It was possibly the last time Marie would ever have been able to see her mother.
Marie's granddaughter, Aimee, is hoping that the public is more feeling than Nationwide. She has started a Just Giving campaign to try and raise funds to replace what her nan had lost and so give her back a happy Christmas.
My Nan is always helping others, writes Aimee.
There will be many people reading this who know of her, and have maybe received help from her themselves.
The family are hoping that they can rase awareness of the BT phone scam which is a variation of the Microsoft technical support scam. In September, The Register reported that scammers were targetting BT customers although Talk Talk customers may equally be at risk after a series of data breaches.
You can help give a little Christmas joy back to Marie and her family by donating online.