A pregnant woman has spoken out of her horror after fraudsters funneled more than £65,000 from her account in a sick scam – with her bank unable to get the money back.
Claire Pearson, who is heavily pregnant with her first child, said she had been contacted via text message by “Santander” – with the inheritance from her late father drained from account just minutes after she spoke to the fraudsters.
The 38-year-old had called the number provided in the text message, which had been sent through on the same thread as the single mum had received other messages from her bank on, then tricked into giving the man access to her account.
Just minutes after the call, Claire realized something wasn’t right and quickly called her bank – horrified to watch £71,700 ($88,400) taken out of her account as she waited on hold.
Santander’s fraud team were able to recover £5,800 ($7,100) but have said that no further action will be taken.
Her bank has since said they were sympathetic to victims of scams and were able to recover £2,253.13 ($2787.80) for the mum – but were no longer investigating.
The Surrey woman now been left without the savings, just three weeks from giving birth to her first baby.
Distraught, the mum said that in hindsight, she realized she had been tricked as she tried to sort the matter out over the phone while rushing out the door to buy a pram.
She said: “I’ve got baby brain at the moment, I had a cold, I was trying to get out the door to get a pram.
“I hadn’t thought much of it but as I was driving down the road, I thought, ‘no, I’m not comfortable with this’ and I pulled over and rang them quickly.
“I found the number and was put on hold, it was the most frustrating five minutes of my life. I was watching money go out of my account.
“I was at my wit’s end.”