Scammers steal £12,000 from builder’s account

Card cloners left Greg Fletcher high and dry down under. Picture: Jon Savage
Card cloners left Greg Fletcher high and dry down under. Picture: Jon Savage
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A BUILDER was forced to borrow money from a hotel porter after his bank card was cloned during a dream holiday to Australia.

Greg Fletcher had planned every detail of his trip – but the tour turned sour when criminals wiped £12,000 from his Royal Bank of Scotland account.

It is believed the crooks swiped Mr Fletcher’s bank details while he was in Sydney before splashing the cash on expensive watches and perfume.

Mr Fletcher spent the remainder of his holiday waiting for phone calls from RBS to confirm when he would receive emergency cash – meaning he missed out on long-awaited trips to the Great Barrier Reef and Ayers Rock.

At one point he hardly had enough cash to buy food or drink – and because he had no bank card to leave at hotel receptions for security, the mini-bars were removed from his bedrooms to ensure he didn’t take anything he couldn’t afford.

Things went from bad to worse when RBS sent a new card to his Perth hotel – but when it arrived, it had two digits wrong.

And the PIN number for a second replacement card was sent to his home in Portobello.

Mr Fletcher was given several moneygrams but these also took hours to process as staff had to call Visa offices in America to verify his details.

He said he was disgusted at how the debacle was handled by RBS – and he is now threatening to take the issue to the Financial Ombudsman.

The 50-year-old said: “It’s the inconvenience of everything – I wasn’t able to do anything. I was left without anything to eat or drink.

“I couldn’t even go down to the beach because I was waiting on phonecalls.”

Mr Fletcher, who had planned the trip after splitting with his wife, travelled to Australia on December 15 with £12,000 in his account.

The card fraud became clear when he tried to take out cash at an ATM in Cairns half-way through the trip, only to find he was in his overdraft.

His bank statement showed that his card details had been used to make expensive purchases in Sydney – after he had travelled to Brisbane.

On his return stopover in Dubai, Mr Fletcher had to borrow cash from a hotel porter to pay for transport to nearest Moneygram office.

After being given small sums of money to keep him going during the four-week trip, he has now been reimbursed the full £12,000.

RBS have also offered him £150 in compensation – an offer which Mr Fletcher claims is laughable given the fact his £4500 holiday went so wrong.

He said: “Customer care was shocking and then they had the cheek to phone me to answer a survey about their service. I missed out on great trips and spent a week missing out with new friends.”

A spokeswoman for RBS said the bank was committed to resolving Mr Fletcher’s case.