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Mum been victim of a phone scam

(45 Posts)
Marshmallow09er Thu 28-Feb-19 17:36:03

For the second time. This time they have managed to take around £8k.

I worry they are targeting her, and her vulnerability to these kind of things.

Last time I went through so carefully for her to never give out any details over the phone but she's done it again.

She's 73 and seemingly cognitively ok, no memory issues, but increasingly it feels like her judgement is off somehow.

I'm not really sure how to stop it happening again.
We've blocked her account and the bank are sending new cards (again).

Is there anything more the bank could do?

Solasum Thu 28-Feb-19 17:41:20

Could you change her phone number? At least then if she is on a hit list she’d be a bit protected?

Sexnotgender Thu 28-Feb-19 17:43:59

Can you get her one of the call screening phones?
Unknown numbers are required to say who they are and you decide whether to answer or not. Might put them off?

Sexnotgender Thu 28-Feb-19 17:45:10

Also what type of scam are they doing?

Banks do have procedures in place but if your mum is willingly sending money there’s little that can stop this.

Knittedfairies Thu 28-Feb-19 17:45:11

Have a look at this. I think Saga and Age UK May have advice too.

Tomtontom Thu 28-Feb-19 17:46:52

Change her number, once she's been hit once they'll keep doing it, and sell her number to others that will do the same.

I've heard these calls and they're extremely good at convincing people they're real. I imagine it affects even more people than we know about, as victims are too ashamed to admit what's happened.

LIZS Thu 28-Feb-19 17:47:37

It is quite possible her details are being circulated. Assume you have involved the police. There have been a number of scams around here recently but a perpetrator did get caught and jailed. Would she agree not to discuss any details over the phone, even if she believes the caller to be genuine, and get it in writing first. Would the police have someone who could speak to her and reassure her it is not her fault?

Lifeofa Thu 28-Feb-19 17:49:32

Could you go in with her and ask whether a low transfer limit could be put on? Low enough to pay bills but not enough for the scammers.

Marshmallow09er Thu 28-Feb-19 18:59:47

Thanks everyone.
She has call screening but somehow this got through.
I suggested we changed her number last time but she was reluctant - I'll say I think we have to this time.
I told her before to just take their number and contact me to check them out, but she was obviously thoroughly duped.
I'm also 😱 she has so much money in her current account.
Yes she gave the money willingly (I can't even quite get to the bottom of why still). The bank's fraud department are looking into it and considering if they might honour some of the payment.

I can't help be like £8k, omg I could have paid off my credit card with that!

She says she has learnt this time and won't do it again - but she said that last time...

Oh dear such a worry. Between her and my kids I am going thoroughly grey.

Marshmallow09er Thu 28-Feb-19 19:01:20

Good idea about letting the local police know too. I think she's v embarrassed about it but if there's any help they can give it would be great.

Marshmallow09er Thu 28-Feb-19 19:06:07

Oh they pretended to be from her internet provider, but I can't quite understand what they said they wanted or needed her to do - she said they kept her on the phone for nearly 2 hours. Poor mum.

Needmoresleep Fri 01-Mar-19 00:03:28

Once her phone number is on a list it will be sold on. When I was clearing my mothers flat it, the phone was ringing regularly with people trying to flog insurances and all sorts of stuff.

I have the Tshirt on this. I suggest a small account for everyday stuff, something like a Tesco savings account, which does not allow overdrafts or direct debits but which does provide a debit card. My mum has one that I can top up using a phone app should she need more money. Its a bit like the accounts DC had when they were teenagers.

The main account should then be hidden away so she really wont know details should anyone call. Could statements go to you? Could she give you third party access and you do the internet banking?

Also get the bank to give a list of DDs and SOs. My mother had loads because of people phoning up and her giving out her bank details. In the end the easiest way to cancel them was to close that account and open another.

In retrospect these priblems, and hoarding, were the first signs of dementia. I hope that is not so with your mum.

wierdwords Fri 01-Mar-19 00:23:42

When my dad has this they used an app for taking over the mouse and directed him on moving the money. Luckily there came a point (after 2 hours) when he said he'd just go down to the branch for help (I think he was unsure by then) and did literally go drive to the branch and they sorted it out with no loss of money. It was such a close shave!

Can't offer advice on avoiding it again, but we just keep emphasising no one should ask you to turn computer on.

Babyiwantabump Fri 01-Mar-19 00:27:53

You can get call screening phones that you put numbers into and only calls from those numbers will be put through.

We have one for my nan as the same thing kept happening.

It’s working so far - we have programmed in relatives numbers and the doctor etc you just have to let them know not to call from a with held number or it will automatically block it- they just get a dead tone when trying to call.

Babyiwantabump Fri 01-Mar-19 00:31:17

CPR Protect Landline Call Blocker - Block All Incoming Calls - Remote Program Trusted Phone Numbers - Designed To Safeguard Vulnerable Adults - Protect Dementia Alzheimer Sufferers From Scam Calls

I can’t find the actual phone but this is similar to what we have .

TooTrueToBeGood Fri 01-Mar-19 00:31:48

Have a look into CIFAS. I don't know much about it other than it's a scheme to help protect people from fraud. I believe you register (your mum) with them and this forces financial institutions to do additional due diligence.

ilovewelshrarebit123 Fri 01-Mar-19 00:40:09

This happened to my mum but they only got £300 as she realised what she'd done and stopped it.

She has £10k in her account but will not listen to me that she needs to keep it under £1k. She's in her 70's and there is no convincing her.

Don't get me started with what she's like with Facebook! She puts personal messages on people's walls and thinks they are private! 😊

Iflyaway Fri 01-Mar-19 00:48:52

This time they have managed to take around £8k.

How is this possible?!

My bank immediately contact me if they find an irregular transaction. even if I had nowhere near that amount of money in my account

Not in UK though.

When I get a scam telephone, I pick up (cos I don't know who's calling) and if no-one I know with weird talk about my internet or whatever, I leave the phone off the hook and walk into the kitchen. Gets rid of them.

But it sounds like your mum is vulnerable. Can you take it up with her bank?

Maybe look into POA? We had to do it for my mum as her Alzheimers got worse....

So sorry you're going through this.

Celticrose Fri 01-Mar-19 01:00:47

If she is with BT they have call protect where you can only allow certain numbers to get through. You can even set times for calls to get through.

HeddaGarbled Fri 01-Mar-19 01:04:34

Barclays have been giving me some advice on a similar situation. They recommend keeping the balance in the current account at a minimum. They also suggested not having a debit card at all. With online banking, transfers can be done for most payments, and you can get cash over the counter without a debit card, or get cash out yourself to give her, and do a transfer from her account to yours.

Alternatively, if you do online banking and download the app onto your phone, you can switch her card on and off.

coolcateli Fri 01-Mar-19 06:28:37

I think I agree with Solasum. The best thing to do is to change her number (if it's not important enough, of course). Does she lives on her own? Does she familiar with internet? I think you can also tell her to check every unfamiliar number on Google or some sites like and let her see if the number has some reports/complaints. Then just ask her to block the number. One more thing, ask her not to be shame to talk about this kind of scam. They are very dangerous and I think people should know about this.

Wildcate Fri 01-Mar-19 06:33:43

We have similar to this

You can set it so every number other than those you dictate is blocked. May be worth thinking about.

I agree with a PP though. My bank (Lloyd’s) blocks unusual transactions for much lower amounts than that and I have to approve them. I’d be speaking to them to query how this one got through.

FamilyOfAliens Fri 01-Mar-19 07:09:44

I can't help be like £8k, omg I could have paid off my credit card with that!


Cuttingthegrass Fri 01-Mar-19 07:20:15

Can you put a sticker on the phone with a reminder to be careful with people or numbers she doesn’t know?

SoupDragon Fri 01-Mar-19 07:28:58

I see someone else mention power of attorney and I also would recommend you get this set up in case this is an early sign of dementia.

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