A pensioner was conned out of £7,000 after fraudsters intercepted a phone call he made to his bank.
Scammers emptied Alan Jackson’s account after gathering his personal details on a call he made to Barclays Bank.
A man claiming to be from the bank’s security department later called the 72-year-old on his house phone.
Mr Jackson, of Easington Lane, near Hetton-le-Hole, Sunderland, said: "The caller said there was a problem with my account.
"I asked how I could be sure the caller was genuine and he suggested I call the phone banking number which is on the back of my card.
"I hung up the phone and dialled the number and it was as normal, with the recorded voice telling me to push various buttons.
"I eventually got though to an operator who asked me the usual security questions and for various account details.
"She was very professional and friendly, even chatting about what the weather was like.
"She said there was a problem and they would need to send me a new member number.
"She said not to try and log on for the next few days and the number would be sent out to me in the post."
Mr Jackson, a retired engineering designer thought nothing more about the call until he received a letter from Barclays thanking him for taking out a loan.
The fraudsters had taken out a loan for more than £1,400 in Mr Jackson's name, and then little by little emptied the account.
Mr Jackson's accounts are now being looked at by the bank’s fraud team, who told him the fraudsters had kept the line open when he hung up from the initial call.
This meant when Mr Jackson was still connected to the conmen when he dialled the phone banking number.
They then used his details to access his online banking, apply for the loan and transfer cash out of his accounts.
A Barclays spokesperson said: "This is an industry-wide scam and we are working together to raise awareness and advise the public how they can avoid being a victim.
"All customers who are an innocent victim of this or any other fraud will have their losses refunded to them.
"They should always check they have a dial tone before they call as some fraudsters have been known to stay on the line and play a ringing tone before answering and pretending to be the bank."
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