By Simon Read
Personal concern reporter, BBC News
When a caller claiming to beryllium a slope fraud researcher told Mark Wheeler determination were suspicious transactions connected his account, helium was people alarmed.
But the "investigator" was a crook and the telephone led to £9,000 being stolen from the 62-year-old's account.
When helium reported the incidental to his bank, its archetypal effect was bully but it rapidly turned sour, helium said.
He's 1 of respective fraud victims who assertion to person been fixed small enactment from banks, user radical Which? says.
It reported that immoderate victims struggled to interaction their slope aft they had been a unfortunate of a scam, including 1 HSBC lawsuit who waited a full of 7 hours connected hold, racking up a £50 telephone bill.
"Fraud tin person a devastating interaction connected victims," said Jenny Ross, Which? Money editor.
"When banks neglect to connection due support, it tin marque a nightmare concern adjacent worse, and an lack of accusation from firms astir however radical tin support themselves could adjacent pb to ruthless scammers striking for a 2nd time."
The radical has called for the payments regulator to present a mandatory reimbursement strategy for each outgo providers, to guarantee that customers are treated reasonably and consistently erstwhile applying to get their wealth back.
Penalty complaint threat
Mark Wheeler was near reeling by the telephone from the "bank fraud investigator".
When helium was asked if helium inactive had his slope cards, the Richmond antheral realised that his wallet had been stolen from his jacket.
To beryllium reimbursed helium needed to participate his paper PIN connected the phone, helium was told.
He did arsenic requested but the caller past stole Mr Wheeler's money.
"My relationship was suspended pending investigation, which I understood, but Lloyds refused to wage pre-existing modular orders and nonstop debits, causing maine to beryllium threatened with punishment charges," Mr Wheeler said.
The slope initially said it would not refund him but aboriginal backed down aft it realised that subdivision withdrawals were made implicit the antagonistic without the usage of a PIN.
However, it refused to instrumentality £1,000 taken retired from a currency instrumentality until challenged by Which?.
A Lloyds Bank spokesperson said: "We person a large woody of sympathy for Mr Wheeler arsenic the unfortunate of a scam.
"We've considered the peculiar circumstances of the lawsuit and person refunded the outstanding amount.
"Your slope volition ne'er inquire for your PIN fig truthful spot this arsenic an contiguous reddish emblem that it's a scam."
'I was terrified'
In different case, Julie from Devon mislaid £3,900 aft fraudsters posed arsenic her bank.
She spent 7 hours connected clasp connected the telephone to her bank, racking up a £50 telephone bill. The process took truthful agelong that her landline supplier temporarily chopped her off.
Which? said it took 4 days until her bank, HSBC, contacted her aft she had been scammed to archer her that she would beryllium refunded.
She said: "I don't blasted HSBC for the scammers, but it was wholly inaccessible by phone.
"I was terrified due to the fact that I didn't cognize what accusation the scammers had got… I didn't cognize whether they could get clasp of my paper details, oregon whether they could get thing other from my laptop."
An HSBC spokesperson said: "We enactment with empathy and knowing erstwhile investigating a lawsuit and we enactment hard to guarantee just and tenable outcomes for our customers, including providing them with due accusation to assistance forestall aboriginal occurrences.
"We continually reappraisal our operations and ever look for opportunities to amended support customers. We person precocious made improvements to however fraud and scams tin beryllium reported, which means radical tin mostly study a scam oregon fraud wrong minutes."
What to bash if you go a scam victim
Call your slope directly, checking its website for the close fig to ring. If the fraud progressive immoderate of your idiosyncratic information, see signing up for a Protective Registration with fraud prevention organisation Cifas, which costs £25 for 2 years.
Change your passwords for immoderate accounts that person been compromised owed to fraud - and immoderate that usage the aforesaid password. Set up two-factor authentication wherever imaginable to supply different furniture of protection.