Vulnerable scam victim who lost £239,000 of life savings reimbursed by her bank after we intervened
A scam victim who lost £239,000 of life savings has been reimbursed by her bank after The Mail on Sunday intervened.
Last month, we reported how Catriona Oliphant, 60, was tricked by a scammer into handing over her savings in a series of online banking transfers.
The criminal led Catriona to believe he was from the National Crime Agency and needed her help to ensnare a criminal working inside her bank, HSBC.
They targeted Catriona at a time when she was at her most vulnerable. Her mother had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and at the very moment the scammer phoned, Catriona was arranging her mother’s palliative care.
Relief: Catriona Oliphant can start to rebuild her life after her life savings were reimbursed
Now, five months after Catriona’s bank account was drained, HSBC has finally reimbursed her in full.
‘I’m still struggling to believe I have my money back,’ says Catriona. ‘It’s been a distressing five months. It means I can now begin to put my life back together. I couldn’t have done this without the enormous support of The Mail on Sunday, friends and colleagues.’
Scam victims lose more than £1million every day to authorised ‘push payment’ fraud, to which Catriona lost her money.
Victims are convinced to make payments to criminals who claim to be from a trusted organisation, such as the police, Government or a bank.
Around half of victims are reimbursed by their bank, but it’s a lottery.
Theft: The headline of our original story
Last year, one bank reimbursed 18 per cent of scam victims while another reimbursed 64 per cent, according to anonymised data from the Payment Systems Regulator.
HSBC told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Protecting customers from unscrupulous criminals is an absolute priority for us and we are sorry that Ms Oliphant fell victim to an authorised push payment scam.
‘We take great care to consider individual circumstances and following a thorough review of her case, we are reimbursing all of the funds that were lost from the accounts she held with us.’
It is the second time in less than a month that the MoS has been successful in getting money back for victims of fraud.
Two weeks ago, we were instrumental in persuading the bank Santander to reimburse customer Jean Timmins who had lost £30,300 to fraudsters who had cloned another company’s details to appear legitimate.
Go to takefive-stopfraud.org.uk for more information about protecting yourself from financial scams.