The victim of a thief who disguised himself as an elderly Scottish woman to steal thousands of pounds from her bank account has branded the cross-dressing conman as “disgusting”.
The 76-year-old, who can only be identified as Agnes, was robbed of more than £11,000 by the fraudster – a middle-aged man.
She was talked into disclosing her pin number over the telephone to someone she believed worked for Royal Bank of Scotland, before giving her bank card to a bogus courier.
The man then donned a wig, make-up and camel coat to pass as his victim in a bank.
He withdrew thousands of pounds of her savings from Royal Bank of Scotland branches in Glasgow city centre and in Cleland, North Lanarkshire, before bank staff raised concerns about the “squared-jaw” impersonator.
The money was taken last week.
The fraud began when Agnes was telephoned by a fraudster purporting to be from her bank, asking why she had not used the new card she had been sent.
When she said she had not received the card, she was told to send her old card away by courier and that a new one would be sent to her.
Agnes raised doubts about the call, and the woman she was speaking to told her to phone the official number on the back of her card.
But the fraudsters had not disconnected the call and were still at the end of the line while Agnes thought she was calling RBS head office.
Instead, she was still talking to the fraudster who also persuaded her to tell them her pin number. Her card was later collected by the courier.
A few days later she was contacted by an RBS branch which said her card had been handed in.
Agnes said: “I said ‘Well, I’m supposed to be getting the card delivered by courier’. I explained exactly how it was all done. Then she told me ‘I’m very sorry but you have been a victim of fraud’. I went down to my branch and that was when I found out exactly how much money had been taken out of my bank: over £11,000.”
Agnes, who still works 18 hours a week as a cleaner, said she was “devastated” when she discovered what had happened.
She said: “Words cannot describe it. I was shaking. I have been working all my days and someone can do that in two or three days. It’s disgusting, absolutely. I was absolutely disgusted that people would go to these lengths to take some old person’s money. I don’t know how they sleep in their bed. They can’t have a conscience at all.
“If I had heard this, what I’m saying, it wouldn’t have happened to me. I’m letting people know so that it won’t happen to them. I don’t know how it’s done but I hope they catch him and find out.”
Pc Alan Mulholland, a Strathclyde Police community safety officer, said: “Essentially what’s happened is a scam has been developed out there by someone who has phoned Agnes. What is quite interesting about what has been alleged here is that effectively they have asked her to phone the Royal Bank of Scotland but they have stayed on the phoneline.
“So she’s then picked the phone up and dialled the number but they have still been on the line. So that is how they managed to get her details. No bank in Scotland or England will ever ask for your pin number. It’s just not done.
“If this happens to you or if you know anyone this has happened to, they must go to the bank and they will put measures in place to stop any activity on your account.”