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LONDON, Oct 14 (Reuters) – It was an email offering a discount on an electric toothbrush that began the sequence of events that ruined Anna’s life.
Within minutes of entering her card details, she got a call from her bank telling her fraudulent transactions were being made. The next day Robert Clayton from Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority called to say they were pursuing the criminals responsible but that her savings were at risk.
There was no toothbrush, though. No fraud department, no Robert Clayton. They were all part of a scam to gradually siphon off Anna’s life savings, and within a few weeks the plot had succeeded, to the tune of about 200,000 pounds ($270,000).
“I am still in shock, the guilt and shame are impossible to convey,” said the 78-year-old widow from central England, who did not want her full name to be used in this story.
She is one of thousands of people who have seen savings swept away this year by an unprecedented wave of online bank fraud hitting Britain, where you’re more likely to be a victim of online fraud than any other crime.
The country is the global epicentre for such…