US fraudsters tried to steal £5k for jewellery from Carmarthenshire man
A STORE manager was forced to borrow money from friends, family and work colleagues to pay for "bills and essentials" after his bank account was used to try to buy £5,000 worth of jewellery in America.
Darren Hudson, of Johnstown, discovered he was being targeted by fraudsters thousands of miles across the Atlantic after visiting a cashpoint machine on Wednesday.
On finding his account blocked, he investigated the incident with Natwest, and was told fraudsters had tried to use his details to pay for hotels and jewellery.
The 23-year-old, who works as an assistant manager at the Officer's Club, Carmarthen, said he was then forced to borrow money as the bank looked into the incident.
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"I phoned the helpline and they told me the card was being used abroad to try to take £5,000 to pay for jewellery," he said. "But they told me that I should be able to take money from over the counter."
Mr Hudson visited his King Street branch, but was told he was unable to get any money.
"I phoned the helpline again, and they said it was up to branch discretion," he said.
The news meant Mr Hudson was forced to borrow money to help pay bills and eat.
He said: "The bank told me that the card had been used the day before, and a few weeks ago. But I didn't know.
"It's a massive shock — the fraudsters had been trying to take £1,000, £2,000 to pay for hotels, and then £5,000 for jewellery."
He said he did use his card online, but used PayPal in order to keep his details secure.
"I would just tell everyone to be careful with your details," he said.
A spokesman for NatWest said: "NatWest takes the issue of fraud prevention very seriously and looks to identify instances when activity on a customer's account falls outside of a regular pattern – this may include stopping and replacing a customer's card as in Mr Hudson's case.
"We regret that we were unable to provide a cash withdrawal to Mr Hudson at first, this is because account security is our priority and our cashier at the NatWest Carmarthen branch, given the previous attempted fraud on the account, didn't feel he had enough information to provide the service.
"Customers can receive a cash withdrawal at a branch with a current passport and photo driving licence if they don't have their card, they will be asked security questions by the cashier but we can only provide this discretionary service when we are satisfied we are dealing with the correct person.
"We were able to provide Mr Hudson with cash the following day."