A young student has told of her devastation after losing £2,500 in an alarming Christmas "Royal Mail" double-con sweeping the country.
The 21-year-old warned she was left "with nothing" after being "caught in a moment of weakness".
She received a legitimate-looking email claiming to be from the Royal Mail on November 13 asking her to pay £2 for a package to be redelivered.
The woman told BristolLive that she paid by entering personal details but cancelled her bank card when her mother sent her a news report about a "Royal Mail" scam a few days later.
Scammers carried out the double-con by calling her later that evening from a telephone number matching Lloyds Bank's, claiming to be a member of its fraud team and that £1,500 had been withdrawn from her account.
The woman, from Horfield, Bristol, who asked not to be named, said: "They told me to transfer all of my money to a safe account so I told them that I didn't trust this and that I was going to ring my bank as I've cancelled my card."
She said she was quickly reassured that it was Lloyds Bank and after checking the back of her card she noticed that the unknown number matched that of the bank.
The student went on: "They told me to transfer all of my savings to my normal account and then transfer everything that I had into what I thought was a safe account – including an £800 overdraft.
"They were even sending me text messages from Lloyds Bank so I trusted it.
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"I was caught in a moment of weakness and they completely cleared me out."
She said the scammers even locked her out of her account and told her she had to wait 24 hours before she could access it.
After the call ended she started thinking that she may have been scammed so she alerted her bank, which confirmed her worst fear.
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She said: "It doesn’t matter if there was £100 or more – I was left with nothing."
Several days have now passed and she has yet to regain access to her account.
She said: "It's a bit naive of me to be that trusting with someone, It has completely ruined my life.
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"I was left in my overdraft – they maxed-out everything. I didn’t know what I was going to do financially – I was completely floored.
"I’m 21, I’m young and I don't have that much savings."
A spokesman for Lloyds Banking Group said: "Your bank will never contact you out of the blue and rush you to make a payment or ask you to move money to another account – even if the phone number looks like it’s calling from the bank.
"The best thing to do is hang up and ring your bank back later on the number on the back of your card, ideally from a different device as fraudsters can keep the line open."
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