Northamptonshire man nearly lost £10,000 in Amazon phone scam

A Northamptonshire man is warning people to be vigilant after he was targeted by phone scammers.

The man, who is in his 70s and who we have chosen not to name, said he was about to walk his dog when the phone rang at about 2pm last Thursday.

Never give your card or bank details out over the phone. No reputable organisation will ever ask you to do this.

Never give your card or bank details out over the phone. No reputable organisation will ever ask you to do this.

He said: "I thought it was one of those phone scammers, he said 'I think you might be interested, somebody is accessing your Amazon account in America.'"

The caller told the man that a purchase worth £39.99 had been made from his Amazon account by somebody in the US.

The man said: "I didn't know anything about it, for the next two-and-a-half hours I was subjected to the most horrific time I have ever had, they manipulated me to get into my computer, they accessed all my Nationwide banking.

"They just completely got me."

The man said he is wary of scam phone calls and is signed up to the Telephone Preference Service, a register for people who do not want to receive sales or marketing calls.

He said: "They said they were from Amazon and then it went into how I do my banking.

"I didn't check who they were. I was involved with several different people, they kept saying 'I will put you through to one of my superiors."

The man said it was very confusing, but that the caller seemed very professional and the initial claim that his Amazon account had been compromised had him hooked.

He said: "After much more manipulation, they said 'What we will do is we will pay a sum of money into your account.

"They told me to go into Nationwide and go to the cashier and they provided me with a bank account and sort code for a TSB account and told me to make it a personal transfer for £9,850."

He was told the money would be in safe hands for his future use.

The man said he was told that if he was challenged at Nationwide, not to say anything.

He said: "I had to ring this number on the way to the bank.

"I went to the cashier and said 'I want to transfer a sum of money'. I gave the account number and sort code and she asked me, 'Has anybody been in contact with you this afternoon?'"

The man said unbeknown to him, another transaction for £3,850 had been made and Nationwide had been alerted to the unusual activity in his account.

The cashier told the man they thought there might be a problem with the account and the man was put in touch with a member of Nationwide's fraud team who suspected something was going on.

The man said: "While this was going on, I was having telephone calls from these people which I completely ignored."

Fortunately, Nationwide's action meant the man was alerted to the attempted fraud and did not go through with the transaction.

He said: "I didn't lose any money.

"They really manipulated me, accessing my computer. They were typing on my computer. It's really, really clever. I want it highlighted to people out there."

The man also had accounts with Tesco banking that he managed to protect.

"Nationwide and Tesco were really, really good, I cannot fault them. They were extremely good and extremely helpful."

The man said he has had to get a new computer because the one that was hacked has been completely compromised.

He has still been receiving phone calls from the scammers but has not been answering them but he has been writing down the numbers and giving them to Nationwide to investigate.

Nationwide's advice page describes scams similar to this as safe account scams, it said: "You get an unexpected call from someone claiming to be from a trusted organisation such as a bank or building society or the police."

In this case, it was Amazon.

Nationwide continued: "They explain your money is at risk– your account’s been compromised in a security breach.

"Then they reassure you: move your money now to a ‘safe account’ they’ve set up for you, and all will be fine. It’s you who moves that money, not them. And it’s money you’ve lost for good."

Nationwide say never act on a call out of the blue and transfer money at the request of a caller, because a genuine organisation will never ask you to transfer money.

If you are targeted by a scam call, you can report it to Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre.

You can call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.