A man who lost £18,000 to fraudsters believes he was spiked before the criminals used financial apps on his smartphone.
Ben Gregory, 26, says that he woke up after a night out in Clapham, south London to find that someone had created several overdrafts and emptied his savings account – a loss of £18,000.
Gregory was out for dinner with his friends, before heading to the club. He woke up next morning feeling ‘dizzy and dazed’.
According to him, he felt horrible and absolutely awful.
“Over the next few day I could not stop thinking about it. Couldn’t sleep. Found it difficult to eat. It was because I felt vulnerable and worried.
Ben Gregory, 26, says that he woke up after a night out in Clapham, south London to find that fraudsters had used his phone’s financial apps to steal £18,000 from his bank accounts (stock image)
“I received messages from my brother on my workphone, asking: “Is everything okay?” [because]There has been an open overdraft on our joint bank account. What’s happened?’.
“I didn’t do this, as soon as I saw it.
The fraudsters had reportedly used Ben’s phone to set up two new £2,500 overdrafts on his bank accounts as well as moving his savings into his current account and emptying it.
His losses totalled just over £18,000 across his accounts with American Express, Monzo, HSBC and Revolut.
While Ben received reimbursements from American Express, Monzo and Monzo in a matter of days, HSBC & Revolut initially declined to pay him back his losses.
After Ben was published in the newspaper, the hold-outs eventually gave up and refunded Ben.
HSBC stated to the BBC that they had thoroughly reviewed the case and will issue a complete refund in light of any new information.
‘While we have an expert team searching for signs of fraud as shown in this case, scammers, which are unscrupulous, use a wide range of tactics to exploit their victims,’ said the investigator.
Spiking has been associated more with prey men injecting women to sexually assault them. However, Ben thinks that his ordeal was a fraud.
“We encourage everyone to remain vigilant.”
Revolut stated to the BBC that it was an uncommon case in which the payment authorizations were made by the customer, but not his permission.
We regret that Mr Gregory was inconvenienced and caused distress, and we are now covering his expenses.
Ben’s story comes amid alarms over women getting spiked at nightclubs using needle injections, rather than the less common method of injecting drugs into drinks.
Spiking can be attributed to predatory men who drug women for their sexual pleasure.
Ben claims that his scheme was intended to deceive.
David Clarke is the chairperson of Fraud Advisory Panel. He told BBC that fraudsters can be cruel and devious online. People should be aware of the possibility of drinking spiked drinks, especially during Christmas parties, when some people might be unprepared.
The Metropolitan Police of London Inspector Dave Laurie offered his advice to victims who had been spiking after the incident.
According to him, the BBC should be able to see you pour your drink and not accept it from strangers. Never leave it alone.
Get another drink if yours doesn’t taste good.
Ben is being investigated by police who claim they’ve made several arrests.
Take a stock photo of your favorite drinks at the pub
IMAGE SOURCE – GETTY IMAGES
What is it like?
It’s not possible to determine the prevalence of spiking fraud despite numerous calls to charities, police and other organizations.
David Clarke of the Fraud advisory Panel believes that, even though this is rare, it has serious consequences for victims.
“We require big technology and large finance to find big solutions for this type fraud,” he said.
“Yes, people can attempt to help themselves. However, there’s a limit on what they can accomplish.
“We need technology to assist because the crooks have so much advanced technology.”