Islander offers scam warning after losing 7,000 euros to fraudster

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A 60-YEAR-OLD man who lost 7,000 euros after falling victim to a scam is warning other Islanders to be on their guard against con artists contacting them by phone.

The man – who does not want to be named – said: ‘I feel sick, I feel stupid and not as streetwise as I like to think I am.’

He has a debit-card account with Santander, and said the bank’s anti-fraud staff were frequently in touch by phone to check on activity related to his profile.

‘They would ring me on a very regular basis,’ he explained.

When he received a phone call from someone claiming to be from the bank, he said he had no reason to think the caller was anything other than a Santander employee.

The man explained: ‘He was note-perfect. He said: “We want to verify some activity on your account. Can we confirm that you are still in possession of your bank card? Have you got your card there?”’

During what he thought was a routine security check, the man gave his name, address and date of birth. Shortly afterwards he discovered that 7,000 euros had gone from his account, having been spent on luxury clothes. The man asked the bank whether he could be compensated, but they said no, because he had ‘been duped.’ The Islander added: ‘I’ve been travelling around the world for 30 years and I’m very vigilant. For whatever reason I thought I could trust this guy.

‘I just want to warn people out there. There are people with large sums of money in debit-card accounts. Put your money in a savings account that can’t be accessed with a debit card.’

A States police spokeswoman said that since 2018 the number of recorded crimes relating to scams and frauds in the Island had almost doubled.

She said: ‘While Jersey benefits from a very low general crime rate, the Island is unfortunately not protected from those fraudsters who continue to target us all via the telephone and internet.

‘SoJP receive reports of scams and frauds throughout the year, and publicise these ever-changing and ever more sophisticated attempts through our own website, social media channels pages and the Jersey Fraud Prevention Forum website.’

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