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Pensioner left in tears after losing £64,000 following call from ‘bank’

NewsPensioner left in tears after losing £64,000 following call from ‘bank’

A woman from British Columbia, Canada has been left “scared” and in tears after losing the equivalent of around £64,000 to scammers.

The victim, who asked to be called Diane, was targeted as part of an elaborate online scam.

Currently, Diane gets disability benefits and has done since the 1980s.

She is in receipt of pension payments but only claims $400 (£320.80) a month after losing her money to scammers.

Diane received a phone call from what she believed to be her bank due to it appearing as such on her mobile’s caller ID.

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The scammer told her that there was evidence of fraud and that her money was at risk as a result.

Speaking to City News Vancouver, Diane outlined how she was tricked into believing her finances were in danger.

She explained the caller made clear he knew the name of the address where she lived, as well as her bank, meaning “it all sounded legit”.

“Then he started going through my account number at the bank, the number on the front and the back. They knew everything about me, it sounded all legit when it happened.

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“He told me that there was fraud on my account and since they knew everything, I assumed wrongly that they were really the bank.”

After gaining her trust, the scammer told Diane to start buying him gift cards which soon led to her family being threatened.

On top of this, the fraudster told her to withdraw credit from her account to pay for purchasing Bitcoin.

At this point, Diane had no choice but to turn to the police after receiving constant threats and abuse.

The scam victim added: “I followed their instructions and I thought that was it and then they started harassing me, demanding more money and threatening me saying that if I didn’t do it I would be sorry, that my husband and my dog, and my house would be in danger. So I was scared and I did what they said and now I am out $80,700 (£64,160).

“The final day – when I said, ‘I can’t give you any more money. I have no more money’ – I called the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) because I was scared, I was so scared, and the RCMP has a file. I contacted everyone and now the money is just gone. Just gone.”

Upon the police learning about her case, authorities tracked down the Bitcoin which was bought overseas.

According to scam experts who spoke to City News, online fraud has risen substantially in recent years due to the wealth of personal information being shared online.

Furthermore, lawyer Kyle Lee claimed banks have few legal obligations to protect customers from the same type of scams that targeted Diane.

After being a victim of this crime, the British Columbia native emphasised the importance of people being aware of scammers.

Diane said: “Please don’t let this happen to you.”

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