A pensioner who fell victim to a sickening scam in which he lost over £7,000 in life savings has been told his bank will not reimburse him.
George McKie, 84, from Hartlepool, was tricked into giving his bank details to a fraudster over the phone who claimed to be from his telephone provider.
As reported in the Mail last month, he later discovered around £7,300 had been transferred from his Santander accounts to someone in another country.
This week, Santander wrote to George to say they had completed an investigation and - despite acknowledging he was the victim of a scam - say they can not give him his money back.
They say that he authorised the payments by entering security codes that were sent to his mobile phone.
But George, who worked as a shipwright at William Gray, claims he did not authorise them.
He has also questioned why Santander did not query such large transfers with him.
George said: “They are blaming me. I wasn’t notified the money was going out of my account until we realised that I was being scammed.
“You expect your money to be safe in the bank.
“They should have known what was going on.”
The fraudsters claimed they needed to upgrade his security settings but actually set up online banking before stealing his money.
George even received another phone call from the fraudsters last week.
This time he made a note of their instructions before going too far and hanging up.
He says they gained remote access to his computer by asking him to press the windows key and ‘3’ simultaneously.
A Santander spokesman said: “Mr McKie was the victim of a sophisticated scam and allowed a criminal to access his PC.
“This allowed the fraud to occur. Mr McKie’s claim for a refund was declined on the basis that he allowed remote access to his account and disclosed secure personal information to the fraudster.
“Mr McKie also subsequently provided the fraudster with one-time passcodes sent to his registered mobile device.
“This allowed the transactions to occur and the money to be lost.
“Santander remains very sympathetic to the fact that Mr McKie was the victim of a crime, and is assisting the police with their investigation into this matter.”
Cleveland Police confirmed they are investigating the matter and have spoken to George.