A WIGAN mum has blasted phone scammers who tried to fleece both her and her disabled son.
Police fraud experts are now probing the attempted deception against the pair who say they are frightened and angry the callers knew so much about them.
The victim came forward after reading Thursday’s Evening Post about how hackers tried to defraud countless friends and contacts of a Wigan charity chief after hijacking her e-mails.
In this latest incident the fraudsters, who claimed to be from the Royal Bank of Scotland, were able to tell the mother – who does not wish to be identified – her date of birth, home address in Norley, certain bank details and also had her ex-directory phone number.
She is also particularly distressed that the callers – who had English names but foreign accents – first asked for her 18-year-old son by name. They only moved on to her on each occasion because he was out. And while she was canny enough to smell a rat she says that if he had answered he may well have been duped.
The ruse was a familiar one: being told that you are in line for a big pay-out, but the client has to make a smaller payment to them.
The first call came on Tuesday when a man identifying himself Daniel Green from RBS – her bank – and he said that she had overpaid on an overdraft penalty to the tune of £4,875.
“Mr Green” said the mother would be getting a telephone call from head office and that she shouldn’t discuss the repayment with anyone else. He gave her a cheque number.
The victim then had a second call from an “Alan Smith” who went through the whole routine again (again asking for her son first). He gave her a supposed London number for RBS – which the Evening Post rang and when a foreign-sounding man answered and we explained who we were the receiver was put down – and said that a lawyer called Shayam Lal was on the case.
She was then instructed to go to a local post office, get a money-sending form and then send the RBS £240 plus £9.999 administration charge so they could release the cheque.
It was alleged that once that had been sent a representative would hand-deliver the cheque when he or she was in the area. The man said the payment would be going to Pune in India and was most concerned that the mother made the payment that day.
But she said: “By that time I was really very suspicious. I told him I was going to be very busy and I immediately then got onto RBS to tell them the story. They said they would contact the fraud squad immediately.
“I was unlikely to have parted with any money but my son has learning difficulties and they were initially targeting him. I am also angry and worried that they had so many personal details.