George McKie, of Hartlepool, on Teesside, was told he had been hacked into by 15 different countries, and should urgently log in to his computer to upgrade his security details. The 83-year-old listened to their instructions and accidentally gave the criminals access to his Santander bank accounts and in turn his £7,200 in savings.
He and son James are now telling others to be alert so they are not caught out in the same way. James said: "They have done it so easily, it's just unbelievable.' George received a phone call claiming to be from his phone provider last Wednesday afternoon. They said, your computer and phone-line have been compromised in 15 countries, would you like to upgrade your security? They asked me to switch on my computer, so I did.They told me to type something in and all my details came up; where I was born, what street I lived in, my mother's middle name. There was a little lock in the corner as though it was all legal and above board."
A Santander spokesperson said: "We are sorry to hear that Mr McKie has been the victim of fraud and, while we are unable to discuss the detail of this case, we offer all our customers the following advice to keep themselves safe. Never share your Santander One Time Passcode (OTP), PIN number or online banking password with another person, not even Santander staff. Never download software or let anyone log on to your computer devices remotely during or after a cold call."