Mum conned out of £2.5k by callous scammer pretending to be herdaughter

A mum has revealed her embarrassment after she was duped out of more than £2500 by someone who pretended to be her daughter.

Sheelagh Stewart, 65, says she was convinced she was speaking to Beth, 22, who had supposedly dropped her phone down the toilet.

The pharmacy worker, from East Calder, Scotland, said she was tricked after she received a text message from a temporary number, claiming to be Beth.

The cruel scammer told the mum they were using a new number due to the old device being impacted by water damage.

Posing as Beth, then sent the mum a panicked text saying her online banking had been frozen for 48 hours due to a security policy.

They claimed to have a £1390.45 invoice they urgently needed to pay for a buy now pay later order, reports Daily Record.

Sheelagh explained that the wording and grammar used in the messages were so similar to Beth's that she believed they were genuinely from her daughter and instantly transferred the cash.

The mum said: "It never crossed my mind to question it. To be told about a broken phone and to be asked for some help is definitely the kind of text a child would send to their parent.

"I've since showed the messages to someone who works in a bank and they said if their daughter had sent them they would have sent them money too.

"Like any mum, my initial reaction was to help her."

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Sheelagh went on to transfer a further payment of £1180.28 to the account details provided by the scammer, but despite her daughter asking for such a large sum of cash, the unsuspecting mum believed that Beth must have ordered equipment for her job and simply needed to settle invoices for the goods.

She added: "Beth is a beautician and the salon she was working in had just been raided, so I thought the money must have been for equipment.

"Beth always pays me back, and on that particular day I was in the middle of taking my friend to visit elderly relative who has dementia, so I had a lot on my mind.

"It just never occurred to me that it could be a scam."

But as the text exchanges continued and the scammer went on to ask for another £996.48 sum of cash, Sheelagh began to sense that something was off as her willingness to support her daughter turned to suspicion.

The mum quickly asked her daughter to confirm her identity and the scammer's response led to the gut-wrenching moment Sheelagh realised something was seriously wrong.

She continued: "The reply came in as 'mum, stop freaking out' and 'only I would know your hair is blonde.' That was when I realised what was really going on.

"I called Beth straight away and she confirmed it wasn't her."

Now devastated Sheelagh has told how the cruel trick has left her feeling 'stupid' and upset as the con artist has wiped out funds she had been saving to take Beth on a sentimental family holiday.

She said: "I had planned to use that money to take Beth on a really special surprise trip.

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"I only earn £9 an hour so that money is a lot of money to me.

"I honestly feel so stupid."

Now, as Sheelagh faces postponing her daughter's dream holiday, the mum's bank Santander has confirmed it has launched a probe into the scam.

Police Scotland also confirmed they are investigating the incident.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 10.30am on Monday, 9 May, police received a report of a person having been the victim of a banking scam in East Calder.

“Enquiries into the incident are ongoing."

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