Warning issued over QR scam after pensioner loses £13K in train station

Person scanning QR code

Train passengers have been warned to remain vigilant after a 71-year-old woman used a fake QR code at a station car park and lost £13,000

Getty
Georgina Cutler

By Georgina Cutler


Published: 19/11/2023

- 07:45

Updated: 19/11/2023

- 08:09

Rail firm TransPennine Express removed all QR codes from its car parks following reports of the scams

Train passengers have been warned to remain vigilant after a 71-year-old woman used a fake QR code at a station car park and lost £13,000.

The pensioner fell victim to the scam after fraudsters covered the real code on a car parking sign at Thornaby Station in Teeside.


After scanning the fake code, the woman put her full card details into the website before the transaction was initially blocked by her bank.

However, the victim received a phone call from the fraudsters posing as bank staff and a £7,500 loan was taken out within minutes.

TransPennine Express

After the incident in August, rail firm TransPennine Express removed all QR codes from its car parks following reports of similar scams

PA

After the incident in August, rail firm TransPennine Express removed all QR codes from its car parks following reports of similar scams.

As well as stealing money, the scammers reportedly changed the pensioner's banking details including her address, ordered new cards and set up an online account.

"When the scammer called, he was so convincing and gave me a sense of security by mentioning transactions from my account that I recognised," she told the BBC.

"But even while I was on the phone, he was logging into my accounts as me and took out a loan in 20 minutes. I can't believe I fell for it.

"Luckily, I had another credit card to survive on, but without that and help from my son, I don't know how I would have coped."

VirginMoney said they had cancelled a loan made during the scam and refunded all fraudulent transactions.

"I can't believe I fell for it," she added.

"I've had so many sleepless nights and spent hours and hours speaking to my bank and credit card company trying to sort it all.

Pensioner on phone

The victim received a phone call from the fraudsters posing as bank staff and a £7,500 loan was taken out within minutes (stock image)

GETTY

The woman reported the scam to police and station staff before her case was referred to Action Fraud.

Urging customers to avoid using any QR codes in TransPennine Express car parks, managing director Chris Jackson said: "We acted quickly and thoroughly inspected all our car-park signs.

"No evidence of fraudulent stickers was found and we had not received any reports in our customer relations system or social media contact."

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