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Farmer conned out of £10,000 warns others not to be ‘duped’ by ‘polite’ cold callers

The fraudster called the farmer and claimed to be from her bank
The fraudster called the farmer and claimed to be from her bank

A farmer scammed out of thousands of pounds is warning others not to be taken in by “polite, plausible” cold callers.

The Donside woman is still in shock after she fell for the scam – which involved the brazen thief making purchases from her account while she was on the phone.

Police issued a warning and estimated the farmer has lost £10,000, however today she said the true sum was not yet clear.

The culprit called the woman on Monday night and claimed he was from the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The 75-year-old, who still works, told us: “He said he was from the Royal Bank of Scotland and he had detected a fraud on my account.”

The man called at 7.15pm, and she was held on the line for more than two-and-a-half hours. The farmer finally cut him off at 9.50pm.

She said: “I lead a very regimented life, so I went about my business while I was on the phone to him.

“The strange thing is that he had all my details. He had my bank account numbers, and my sort codes. And he knew my security words with the bank. That, I find, really worrying.”

‘When I pressed ‘no’ he was irate’

The conman kept asking questions by text, to which he “insisted” the farmer replied “yes” to by pressing a key on her phone.

She said: ” He was trying to set up Google Pay from my mobile phone remotely. When I pressed ‘no’ he was irate.”

Six or seven of the messages came through to her phone. All the while, the conman was taking money out of two accounts.

“He was purchasing things with my money. I don’t buy things on the internet so I don’t really know how it works.

“I don’t know what he was buying. I only know that the police have one of the companies that is named on my account. Police hope to be able to trace it, and find out where things are going to be sent.”

Asda text scam
The scammer asked the farmer to reply to his messages by text

‘People need to realise how easy it is to be duped’

The farmer is annoyed with herself for falling for the scam, but hopes that by speaking out she can let others see “how easy it is to be duped”.

She added: “He had an English voice, not a Newcastle or Liverpool accent, a middle English accent.

“He was polite, he was plausible. He sounded as though he was helping me.”

The farmer said she believed the fraud started when she received an fake email claiming to be from delivery company UPS to say she owed £2.11 for carriage charges.

She said: “I laughed when I got it, and paid the money. I laughed at the amount. But I now know I should have questioned it, and the amount.

“I made a purchase from the same company that day. So the coincidence for me is too high that it is not connected. But the police do not believe it is.”

She urged others to be “ultra suspicious”.

“Don’t trust anyone,” she said.

“If it is a genuine case they will call you back. If you are suspicious hang up and phone the police. Phone the head office of the company.

“It is inevitable that this will change me. I certainly will not order over the phone.”

The farmer said RBS said she should be able to have all the money refunded to her.

Be suspicious

PC Mike Urquhart, from the crime reduction unit, said: “Fraud in all its forms is a major issue for us.

“Like all areas of the UK fraud has seen a huge increase over the last couple of years.

“‘We continue to see examples of criminals pretending to be from your bank or HMRC.

“They make contact via email, phone, text message or social media, to warn you of suspicious activity on your bank account.

“Be suspicious of a call out of the blue from someone claiming to be from a position of authority.”

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