Unfortunately, scams are becoming more and more common, with fraudsters deploying numerous tricks to hook innocent victims. One type of scam is a “romance scam” which involves a fraudster establishing a fake relationship with someone to lure them out for their money.
Such was the case in 2019 for a NatWest client who was online when she met a man with whom she quickly struck up a friendship.
With the couple hitting it off, over the course of nine months they gradually grew closer and a relationship developed.
The man sent her gifts, the couple spoke on the phone and they even exchanged photos.
Although many online relationships start out this way, there was one factor that caused the situation to unravel quickly.
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The woman in question was already re-mortgaging her home and was also about to send another £30,000.
Mr Wainwright added: ‘It almost destroyed his life.
Bank staff, as in this case, are on hand to look into a matter if someone thinks they are being scammed.
NatWest says it protects customers who are vulnerable to fraud, scams, or even financial abuse from someone they know.
People living with complex vulnerabilities such as mental health issues, abusive relationships or addictions can also get support or advice.
Savers can be referred to customer protection officers when bank staff are concerned about an unusual request or a change in behavior.
This is a guarantee that several banks have put in place to protect their customers against scams.
Mr Wainwright said: “We encourage our colleagues to look for clues, to be curious and to ask the next question.
“It could be something a family member said or some strange activity on a customer’s account.
“Sometimes they’ll just have an instinct that something’s wrong when they’re serving a customer.”
People who think they have been the victim of a scam are asked to immediately report it to their bank.
They can also contact Action Fraud or Police Scotland who could dig deeper into the matter to catch those involved.