One of our readers has written with their experience of a scammer at work – huge thanks to them for taking the time to tell their story.
Last Wednesday I received a call from a female saying she was from Amazon and someone had taken £799.00 from my account and they need to refund it. I was transferred to a man who asked me to switch on my computer and like a complete idiot, I did, and then followed a load of instructions he gave me, which included scanning my driving licence and sending the scan to them. Somehow, he took over control of my computer by installing ‘Amazon Anydesk’. I think I must have followed instructions from him for this to happen. I then had to fill the amount of £799.00 onto an online ‘refund’ form, which put the amount as £7,999.00. I was unable to correct the amount, so was told I would have to pay back to “Amazon” the difference, ie £7,200. He then gave me a Polish name to make the refund to. I challenged this and he said Amazon dealt with things like this through their Polish office.
I was given various tracking numbers, ID number; an “Amazon support” email; and an Amazon London address. He then said the £7,200 should be paid back in two sums of £1,500.00 and I should do this twice and the final £1,200.00 as a third amount. He said I would have to do it like this, otherwise I would have to pay business taxes. By now I was thoroughly confused and agitated. He told me to drive to my nearest Post Office, which he entered on my computer screen, also not to bother to switch off my computer or phone. Like a complete idiot I went to the Post Office and was told it was a scam; quickly drove home and quietly walked to the computer. He was busy searching on my computer. I kept quiet, then after a few minutes he said ‘are you there?’ I didn’t say anything and he called out several times again, all the time he was busy on my computer. Eventually, I spoke and said the Post Office wouldn’t do the transaction. He then tried to find another Post Office. I told him there was not another Post Office in the area and the nearest bank was over 20 miles away. I don’t remember anything else specifically and the phone call eventually went ‘dead’.
I immediately phoned my bank and they blocked my debit card, and transferred me to their fraud staff. I was given a telephone number to phone when my new debit card arrives. I said I would get my computer checked for malware, which I have done. The next day I went to my bank and they checked with me that my bank account had not had money taken from it. I noticed when I got my computer back that I had some emails from Western Union Bank, whom I had never heard of. I have contacted them, and they have now removed all my details.
I spoke with one of my grandchildren and following their guidance, have now done a report with “Action Fraud” and also Experian; again I had never heard of them. I have also been advised to contact “Cifas” a fraud prevention community and DVLA which I intend to do.
These criminals are extremely clever. Please do not let this happen to you!