Barclays aims to protect its savers and Britons at large, and it has worked with the Metropolitan Police to do so. Producing the Little Book of Big Scams, Britons’ attention has been drawn to ways they could potentially be targeted.
One account involved a 50-year-old woman who was corresponding with a man she had met via a dating website.
Getting to know the person, he told her he was an officer in the armed forces serving overseas, with his profile showing a man in uniform.
At first, the dating website was their only method of communication, but soon the suspect encouraged communication via personal email and telephone.
Over time, the suspect built a rapport with the victim, who believed the pair were in a relationship.
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But when she told her supposed army boyfriend that she no longer had any money left, all contact ceased.
It was only at this moment the woman realised she had been the victim of a vicious scam.
The book explained: “Police enquiries confirmed the victim had sent the funds to Africa and that emails sent by the suspect had originated in Africa when the suspect claimed to be serving in the Middle East.
“It was also found that the photograph of the suspect on the website had been taken from the social media profile of another person.”
Unfortunately, these kinds of scams do occur, leaving brokenhearted and even penniless victims.
As such, Barclays has stressed how important it is for Britons to protect themselves.
They should only give out personal details when absolutely necessary, and be wary of who they are speaking to.
Individuals may also wish to ask the thoughts of friends or family, who could serve as a valuable second opinion.
If someone thinks they may have fallen victim to a scam, they should contact their bank as soon as possible.
The bank may be able to put a stop on any money which has been transferred.
Other than this, individuals can also report fraud to Action Fraud.
The book added: “Scams DO happen. Remember that if you are a victim of a scam or an attempted scam, however minor, there may be hundreds or thousands of others in a similar position.
“Your information may form part of one big jigsaw and may be vital to completing the picture.”