The man, who remains anonymous, was contacted out of the blue by someone claiming to be from a telecommunications company. As the man’s computer had been “running slowly” for some time, he was easily hooked by the scammer’s claim that there had been a fault that needed to be fixed.
The old man was then informed that he had been hacked and was persuaded to give up remote access to his computer.
He was further shaken by a claim that the supposed hacker was monitoring his bank account and that his help would be needed.
Explaining the case to The Isle of Thanet News, a friend of the victim said: “The scammer said he would put a large sum of money in his checking account and then send it to an address he would email him.”
The man thought he was helping to fight crime and that his funds were simply ‘bait’ to catch a crook.
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Katy Worobec, managing director of economic crime at UK Finance, said: “Authorized fraud losses have increased further this year, with criminals targeting people through a variety of sophisticated scams, much of the criminal activity taking place outside the banking sector, often involving online and technology platforms.
“That’s why we continue to call on other industries to play a greater role in helping to protect customers from the scourge of fraud.”
Britons have been told to Stop, Defy and Protect as part of a national Take Five campaign.
First, individuals should take a moment to stop and think before parting with money or information.
Then they should challenge as it is normal to reject, deny or ignore any request as legitimate organizations will understand reluctance and caution.
Finally, to protect themselves, individuals should contact their bank immediately if they believe they have been scammed. They can also report the problem to Action Fraud.