Mom cheated out of £2,500 by scammer pretending to be her daughter

Sheelagh Stewart

Sheelagh Stewart said the dizziness made her feel “stupid” (Image: Mirrorpix)

A mother has been scammed out of more than £2,500 by a scammer posing as her daughter.

Sheelagh Stewart received a message from someone claiming to be her 22-year-old daughter Beth.

The scammer said she had to use a temporary phone after dropping hers in the toilet.

The 65-year-old then received a panicked text message from “Beth” explaining that her online banking had been frozen for 48 hours due to a security breach and she had an urgent bill of £1390.45 to pay.

Sheelagh, from West Lothian, believed her daughter was in desperate need and transferred the money to the account details provided.

“I was convinced the messages were from Beth. It never seemed like weird news from her,” she told the Daily Record.

“It never occurred to me to question that. Learning about a broken phone and being asked for help is definitely the kind of text a child would send their parents.

“Like any mother, my first reaction was to help her.”

The scammer continued to ask Ms Stewart for money and she complied by sending a further £1180.28 which she believed her daughter needed for equipment for the job.

Cell phone in the hands of a girl. A young woman in a black T-shirt is holding a phone. An email scammer sends a message. The work of a freelancer, businessman.

Ms Stewart transferred £2570.73 to someone she believed was her daughter (Image: Getty)

She said: “Beth is a beautician and the salon she worked at had just been raided so I figured the money must have been for equipment.

“It never occurred to me that it could be a scam.”

The demands for money didn’t stop there and it was only when a further £996.58 was at stake that Ms Stewart became suspicious and asked for proof of identity.

“The response came as ‘Mom, stop freaking out’ and ‘Only I know your hair is blonde.’ That’s when I realized what was really going on,” she explained.

She immediately called her daughter on her usual number, who confirmed she was not the person who requested the money.

Ms Stewart admitted she felt humiliated by the scam and was devastated that her funds – which she had saved to take Beth abroad – had been wiped out.

“I only make £9 an hour so money is a lot for me. I honestly feel so stupid,” she said.

Both Bank Santander and Police Scotland have confirmed they are investigating the incident.

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Justin Scacco

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