Grieving Lothian pensioner has £2,000 of pension money stolen by Amazon scammers

A grieving Scottish widow has been left distressed after crooks stole more than £2,000 from her bank account while posing as Amazon staff.

Margaret Eggett, 68, received a text from an unknown number telling her she had made a payment to Amazon of nearly £80.

The pensioner, who lives alone in Livingston after her husband died last year, called the number to request payment as she does not have an Amazon account.

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Margaret said she spoke to a man claiming to work for the retail giant.

According Today’s newspaper, she said the man apologized for the company’s mistake and told Margaret to download an app called AnyDesk for a refund.

Unknown to the retiree, the app is remote assistance software and allows someone to access your device if you provide a code.

Soon after, Margaret noticed that more than £2,000 had been taken from her bank account in two instalments.

The heartbroken grandmother has fallen into debt from the theft, leaving her exposed just weeks before a dream two-week cruise around the Mediterranean.

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His bank Santander also dismissed his two fraud complaints in a bid to recover his missing money.

She told the Record: “I called the number and the man who answered said he worked for Amazon. He told me I had to download an app to get my money back.

“He asked me to verify my name and phone number. I didn’t know any better.

“When I was on the phone I checked my online banking and queried them when I noticed £999.99 and an extra £1080 had come out.

“My pension and my PIP were due on Friday and I thought I could pay off my overdraft as I have a cruise booked in three weeks.

“Now I’m in debt. I only have £400 left on my overdraft.

“I’ve been in a certain state because of the whole thing. I just feel like I’m not going anywhere.”

Margaret Eggett
The pensioner lives alone in Livingston after her husband died last year

Margaret contacted her bank about the two fraud complaints, but both complaints were dismissed.

She believes Santander should have stopped the transaction immediately and flagged it as suspicious.

The scammers used her name as a reference for transactions, leading the fraud team to believe that she had paid herself.

She has now reported the incident to Police Scotland.

The theft is another blow for Margaret, who recently had surgery on both feet and is still mourning the loss of her husband Michael after he died of pneumonia.

“I lost my husband and my best friend Michael last year,” Margaret said. “He was everything I needed.

“He died in my arms on March 5. We met when we were 17.

Margaret Eggett
The crooks stole over £2,000 from his bank account

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Officers received a bank scam report by telephone on Wednesday 11 May 2022.

“Investigations are ongoing.”

A Santander spokesperson said: “We take protecting our customers from fraud and scams very seriously and have great sympathy for those targeted by the criminals who commit these scams. Our fraud team works hard to prevent and detect fraud and we will investigate the details of any complaints made by our customers.

An Amazon spokesperson said: “Scammers who attempt to impersonate Amazon put our customers and our brand at risk. Although these scams take place outside of our store, we will continue to invest in the customer protection and to educate the public about avoiding scams.We encourage customers to report suspected scams to us so that we can protect their accounts and refer bad actors to law enforcement to ensure consumer safety. Please visit our help pages to find additional information on how to identify and report scams.