Dagenham grandfather battling cancer is conned out of life savings
- Credit: Archant
A grandfather battling against cancer has spoken of his agony after being conned out of his life savings.
Philip Jones of Andrew’s Corner, Dagenham was phoned by a man pretending to be from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) on a cloned phone number on January 11.
The conman said he needed to transfer Mr Jones’s money out of his current account because someone was trying to take it.
At first Mr Jones suspected something was up but when the scammer started listing regular payments and reeled off the first few numbers of his password he feared it could be true.
The conman told him to log into his mobile banking app where he noticed his wife June’s redundancy money had moved from their joint savings into his personal account convincing him the “employee” was genuine.
“It was as if he was sitting next to me, that’s how convinced I was,” he said.
He was then tricked into using his card reader to move the family’s savings – £11,600 – into a “safe” account.
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The conman said someone from RBS would call in 20 minutes with a new account number.
But after no one did he rang RBS who told him that none of their staff had phoned that day.
“At that point my whole world fell to pieces. I was devastated, absolutely inconsolable,” the 58-year-old said.
Much of the money – which June took as redundancy from Redbridge Council to look after her husband – was helping pay the mortgage.
Mr Jones, who is a volunteer for the Royal British Legion, said: “We lost everything. My poor wife packed in work to look after me and I just threw the money away.
“On top of everything else I’m battling, I just feel so much anger at these people, that they could do this.”
An RBS spokesman said: “Keeping our customers safe is of paramount importance. We sympathise with Mr Jones and appreciate this has been a very difficult time.
“We have decided to refund Mr Jones in full and wish to apologise for any distress caused.”
He reminded customers to be vigilant especially when receiving calls or texts from numbers appearing to come from their bank.
“We will never ask our customers to move money to another account to keep it safe from scams or fraud and they should never make a payment or divulge full security credentials at the request of someone over the phone purporting to be from their bank.
“If a customer receives such a request, they should decline this and report it to their bank immediately on a phone number they can trust,” he said.