‘We lost £20,000 because of a fake NatWest card reader’

There are different variants of the scam, some using online banking devices while others use SIM card readers or card payment technology, said Katherine Hart of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

She said: “We are aware of devices that read ‘chip and pin’ on a card to collect and clone its data and others where a live connection is established with the scammer and a transaction is carried out instantly.”

Caroline Abrahams of Age UK, a charity, said: “Fraud affects people of all ages and backgrounds, but we know that older people with higher incomes or those living alone are more likely to say they have been victims.

“This will be a tough year for everyone so we urge older people to be vigilant and remember if there is any doubt about the authenticity of an offer or correspondence, not to respond and to report it to the authorities immediately. ”

Ms Hart warned that many people had been pushed into online banking in recent years. She said: “Criminals are adopting increasingly sophisticated methods, especially under the pressure and confusion of the cost of living crisis and post-pandemic as all generations must become ever more dependent on technology and online services.

“So it’s not just the elderly who are at risk, young people are also vulnerable to this type of high-pressure scam.”

Action Fraud said it received 560 reports of card readers in the past year. Meanwhile, the broader trend of courier fraud, in which a scammer posing as a police officer or bank teller sends a courier to a victim’s home to collect cash or bank cards, has risen 37 percent over the past year. ‘We lost £20,000 because of a fake NatWest card reader’

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