Fraudsters stole my name and £17,500 ... don’t let it happen to you

Chris McCarthy had his identity stolen and £17,500 taken from his bank account

Chris McCarthy had his identity stolen and £17,500 taken from his bank account

First published in News
Last updated

A MAN from Bournemouth who had his identity stolen and found £17,500 missing from his building society account has urged other consumers to be vigilant.

Chris McCarthy, of Glencoe Road, was checking his online Nationwide account in March this year when he was left stunned to see two cash withdrawals on his statement for £9,000 and £8,500.

He immediately called the building society to alert them to the fraud and was told the transactions had occurred on separate days at branches in Winchester and Basingstoke – some 60 miles from where he usually does his banking in Southbourne.

Mr McCarthy said Nationwide’s fraud department was unable to call him back on his correct number the following day after it emerged that his contact details had been changed weeks before by the fraudster.

“They said this person had been able to answer all my security questions, produce a debit card and even obtained a driving licence in my name,” he added.

“The thought of somebody having all of those details is terrifying.

“Had I lost my wallet I would have understood.

“But I had done nothing and it was only by chance that I had checked my online account.”

Following the fraud Mr McCarthy said he was left unable to use his bank card, had direct debits fail and was chased for bill payments by his utility suppliers.

Aware that the fraudster had gone into the building society’s branches, he said he asked staff to check its CCTV and involve the police.

He added: “It’s been a nightmare.

“I think the general public should know just how easy it can be to be defrauded.”

A spokesperson for Nationwide said Mr McCarthy had the missing money quickly refunded to his account and CCTV footage has been passed to Action Fraud to investigate.

Comments (11)

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11:47am Wed 25 Jun 14

mungobean says...

Scary stuff, I will be checking my accounts a bit more regularly now! Thank goodness he got his money back ok.
Scary stuff, I will be checking my accounts a bit more regularly now! Thank goodness he got his money back ok. mungobean
  • Score: 13

12:06pm Wed 25 Jun 14

marie4dazza14 says...

I never got my money back when someone took my money from a nationwide account
I never got my money back when someone took my money from a nationwide account marie4dazza14
  • Score: 3

12:41pm Wed 25 Jun 14

we-shall-see says...

I had a similar scam on my account after using my new debit card was not delivered, but intercepted in the post. The thief made several purchases amounting to more than £500 and I was only aware of it after a direct debit bounced, when I knew there was money in the account just days before.

My bank quickly refunded the money, but told me not to bother with the Police, as they don't chase after "small" frauds like mine !! Just think how much money they must be losing on a daily basis if all the banks are doing that!
I had a similar scam on my account after using my new debit card was not delivered, but intercepted in the post. The thief made several purchases amounting to more than £500 and I was only aware of it after a direct debit bounced, when I knew there was money in the account just days before. My bank quickly refunded the money, but told me not to bother with the Police, as they don't chase after "small" frauds like mine !! Just think how much money they must be losing on a daily basis if all the banks are doing that! we-shall-see
  • Score: 12

12:49pm Wed 25 Jun 14

delta3 says...

we-shall-see wrote:
I had a similar scam on my account after using my new debit card was not delivered, but intercepted in the post. The thief made several purchases amounting to more than £500 and I was only aware of it after a direct debit bounced, when I knew there was money in the account just days before.

My bank quickly refunded the money, but told me not to bother with the Police, as they don't chase after "small" frauds like mine !! Just think how much money they must be losing on a daily basis if all the banks are doing that!
Always involve the Police otherwise it might get dropped and the offender will just move onto the next victim. Getting your money back should just be the start of the process and not the end. Glad it turned out Ok for you.
[quote][p][bold]we-shall-see[/bold] wrote: I had a similar scam on my account after using my new debit card was not delivered, but intercepted in the post. The thief made several purchases amounting to more than £500 and I was only aware of it after a direct debit bounced, when I knew there was money in the account just days before. My bank quickly refunded the money, but told me not to bother with the Police, as they don't chase after "small" frauds like mine !! Just think how much money they must be losing on a daily basis if all the banks are doing that![/p][/quote]Always involve the Police otherwise it might get dropped and the offender will just move onto the next victim. Getting your money back should just be the start of the process and not the end. Glad it turned out Ok for you. delta3
  • Score: 14

1:48pm Wed 25 Jun 14

bosco1 says...

Agree with the above regarding the Police.Always report theft/fraud, it may well be the information they are looking for.Its a bit like a jigsaw. I bank with Santander and the free service of "Alerts" where if you set up an amount debited from your account it will send you a text and or email.So if your card or account is ever misused you will know within seconds.I guess most banks offer this service to its customers. Glad Nationwide refunded this to Mr McCarthy
Agree with the above regarding the Police.Always report theft/fraud, it may well be the information they are looking for.Its a bit like a jigsaw. I bank with Santander and the free service of "Alerts" where if you set up an amount debited from your account it will send you a text and or email.So if your card or account is ever misused you will know within seconds.I guess most banks offer this service to its customers. Glad Nationwide refunded this to Mr McCarthy bosco1
  • Score: 8

4:48pm Wed 25 Jun 14

BIGTONE says...

More to this than meets the eye.
Passwords etc?
Must have had a keystroke Trojan virus on his computer for all the info that was gathered.
More to this than meets the eye. Passwords etc? Must have had a keystroke Trojan virus on his computer for all the info that was gathered. BIGTONE
  • Score: 4

5:40pm Wed 25 Jun 14

Sir Beachy Head says...

My account there is run with just a good old fashioned passbook. No cards to clone, no direct debits to cause hassle. No passwords to capture, no net access to my account.
And I'm getting 1.7% interest for instant access and as many withdrawals as I like.
I wont be changing it anytime soon.
My account there is run with just a good old fashioned passbook. No cards to clone, no direct debits to cause hassle. No passwords to capture, no net access to my account. And I'm getting 1.7% interest for instant access and as many withdrawals as I like. I wont be changing it anytime soon. Sir Beachy Head
  • Score: -5

7:16pm Wed 25 Jun 14

Huey says...

delta3 wrote:
we-shall-see wrote:
I had a similar scam on my account after using my new debit card was not delivered, but intercepted in the post. The thief made several purchases amounting to more than £500 and I was only aware of it after a direct debit bounced, when I knew there was money in the account just days before.

My bank quickly refunded the money, but told me not to bother with the Police, as they don't chase after "small" frauds like mine !! Just think how much money they must be losing on a daily basis if all the banks are doing that!
Always involve the Police otherwise it might get dropped and the offender will just move onto the next victim. Getting your money back should just be the start of the process and not the end. Glad it turned out Ok for you.
The banks don't want the police involved as it reveals flaws in their systems and they want to keep it all on the hush hush.
Makes you wonder how much money gets stolen, refunded fairly promptly by the bank, and never officially recorded as a theft.
I bet if people knew the correct answer there would be a lot less online banking and electronic transactions, and a lot more crooks trying it on.
Good story and some equally good comments.
[quote][p][bold]delta3[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]we-shall-see[/bold] wrote: I had a similar scam on my account after using my new debit card was not delivered, but intercepted in the post. The thief made several purchases amounting to more than £500 and I was only aware of it after a direct debit bounced, when I knew there was money in the account just days before. My bank quickly refunded the money, but told me not to bother with the Police, as they don't chase after "small" frauds like mine !! Just think how much money they must be losing on a daily basis if all the banks are doing that![/p][/quote]Always involve the Police otherwise it might get dropped and the offender will just move onto the next victim. Getting your money back should just be the start of the process and not the end. Glad it turned out Ok for you.[/p][/quote]The banks don't want the police involved as it reveals flaws in their systems and they want to keep it all on the hush hush. Makes you wonder how much money gets stolen, refunded fairly promptly by the bank, and never officially recorded as a theft. I bet if people knew the correct answer there would be a lot less online banking and electronic transactions, and a lot more crooks trying it on. Good story and some equally good comments. Huey
  • Score: -1

9:34pm Wed 25 Jun 14

Ragwin says...

That's why I use banks that do not have high street branches.
That's why I use banks that do not have high street branches. Ragwin
  • Score: 1

2:02pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Sir Beachy Head says...

I always try and remind readers at this stage that the Nationwide is a building society and not a bank. It is well run, is owned by its account holders and makes well over 150 million profit each year. It is probably the safest place to have your money invested in.

(Please do not take any financial advice from me, do your own research)
I always try and remind readers at this stage that the Nationwide is a building society and not a bank. It is well run, is owned by its account holders and makes well over 150 million profit each year. It is probably the safest place to have your money invested in. (Please do not take any financial advice from me, do your own research) Sir Beachy Head
  • Score: 2

8:04pm Mon 30 Jun 14

dumb nut says...

Re above comment if Nationwide is probably the safest place for your money where is the worst they gave away over the counter £17500. And would have given more until it was reported and refuse to correspond with the victim
Re above comment if Nationwide is probably the safest place for your money where is the worst they gave away over the counter £17500. And would have given more until it was reported and refuse to correspond with the victim dumb nut
  • Score: 1

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