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Pensioner scammed for £3,000 left ‘a blubbing mess’ by TalkTalk

Tuesday, June 9th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

A 74-year-old TalkTalk customer was scammed out of nearly £3,000 after personal information was stolen from the company earlier this year.

Julie Norton was duped into handing over her savings during a phone call from a woman who claimed to be from the provider.

After realising she had been scammed, Mrs Norton called TalkTalk to let them know but was left in tears by “uncaring” customer service staff.

Cable.co.uk reported earlier this year that data – including customers’ names, phone numbers and account numbers – had been stolen from TalkTalk.

Mrs Norton’s son, Maf, said she was “fairly level-headed”, but not particularly tech-savvy.

“She is 74 and was widowed three years ago," he said. "My dad used to deal with all the paperwork and everything so she is catching up with that kind of thing.

“Someone claiming to be called Susan phoned saying she was from TalkTalk and was calling because my mum’s information had been leaked and she was entitled to compensation of £300.”

Mr Norton said his mum hadn’t heard about the leak at the time but has since read up on what happened.

'Entire savings'

“They talked her into going on the computer and had somehow got her to install Opera (a web browser) and remote access software – something like TeamViewer,” he said.

“They have obviously been watching while my mum has logged into online banking and told her to look for a deposit.”

‘Susan’ told Mrs Norton she had transferred £3,000 instead of £300 by mistake and was afraid she would lose her job because of the error.

The fraudster then convinced Mrs Norton to withdraw £2,700 and carry out a cash transfer.

What Mrs Norton, of Great Wakering, Essex, didn’t realise was that no money had been paid into her account.

“What had happened was they had just moved the £3,000 over from her ISA and she hadn’t noticed,” said Mr Norton.

“It was her entire savings – all she had other than what’s in her current account.”

Mrs Norton only became aware that she had been scammed when TalkTalk called to try to sell her other services, but the provider seemed uninterested in helping her, her son said.

“They said to call their fraud department and gave her a number," said Mr Norton.

'Blubbing mess'

“She called and they basically were so blunt and uncaring they had my mum bawling her eyes out down the phone while the ‘customer service’ woman read from a script.

“She was a blubbing mess in the end. She doesn’t know who to talk to, to make someone take responsibility.”

Mr Norton has approached TalkTalk on social media and is going to write to the company on his mother’s behalf to ask for compensation.

“There doesn’t seem to be any recourse,” he said. “They have to take responsibility. It is their fault.

“They’ve not even been sympathetic about it. They don’t really care.”

A TalkTalk spokesperson said: “We take our customers’ security seriously, although we know a small number of customers are being targeted by phone scammers, using a limited amount of customer data that was accessed illegally.

"Over the last few months we have contacted our entire base on two separate occasions to tell them what had happened and let them know how they can protect themselves. We have warnings on our website, as well as a dedicated online help area.

“This is a sophisticated fraud and we are sorry that Mrs Norton was affected by it. We urge all our customers to be vigilant, as criminals are increasingly trying to defraud consumers in this way, and are going after companies in many different sectors, not just TalkTalk.”

Comments (1)

Isabel Murphy
12th September 2015

I have just had the same done to me today. They took £3000.00 out of my account. Feel really sick but I am not leaving it here. This is Talk Talks fault for not having a secure online system. I will take this further. Mrs Norton I do know how you feel, your privacy has been invaded by these callous people. I am still finding it hard to believe what has happened. I too am going to write for compensation.

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