A couple have been targeted by fraudsters who opened online bank accounts in their names and closed other accounts over the phone after impersonating them.
The husband and wife, who did not wish to be named, want to warn people about the dangers of fraud and scams after they were targeted last week.
The Barby couple believe fraudsters may have obtained personal details from letters which were delivered to the post box at the end of their long driveway.
The man, who did not want to be identified, said: “Our post box is quite a way away from the house as it’s a rural area and I think someone might have taken letters without us knowing and used the information to get at our bank accounts.”
An online account had been set up in the man’s name without his knowledge. He only found out when he received a letter from Lloyds Bank which stated the new account was active and had a £700 overdraft available. He was not an existing customer with the bank.
He said: “It’s very scary when something like this happens and it makes you wonder what tricks and tactics these people use in order to gain access to accounts.”
He went into a Lloyds branch to resolve the matter and was given £100 and an apology.
Later that week, he went shopping with his wife and her debit card was declined.
“We called the bank straight away to see what was going on and they said my wife had closed the account that afternoon.
“She hadn’t done anything of the sort and it turns out someone had phoned up and closed it, they had all the information they needed to do it. I think they might have closed the account with a view to transferring the money to another account - probably under a different name.”
The couple have reported the incident to the police.
“You read about this kind of thing but you never think it will happen to you,” he said.
“Fortunately we haven’t lost any money and we received good service from the bank when we explained what had happened.”