Real dangers of cybercrime

International Mining Consultant Geoff J Gardner who had his bank account hacked
International Mining Consultant Geoff J Gardner who had his bank account hacked
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As a globe-trotting gold mine engineer Geoff Gardner’s tight financial security was a nuisance – until cyber-criminals hacked his bank account.

Geoff was sitting at home in Wheatley Hills, Doncaster, when he got a call from the bank asking if he was in Mumbai.

Someone in India was trying to spend $99 using his bank details.

The following day there were two attempts to purchase an item costing $143, both blocked.

Geoff’s relief at not losing any money turned to horror when investigations failed to reveal how his account, sort-code and PIN number had fallen into criminal hands – and Lloyds said the only option was to delete his account and have his computer wiped.

For not only was it his personal account, but it was also linked to his other business – a will-writing service which employed five – and all of that had to go too.

Total chaos ensued as Geoff scrambled to pay wages, standing orders and direct debits from his wife’s account. He said: “They said the only safe way to do it was to literally cancel everything. It caused absolute havoc for three weeks.

“My computer had to go away and be completely wiped. No one has a clue how they got my details.

“At the end of the day I asked for these measures to be put in place.

“The bank was doing everything I asked them to do, which is keep my money safe.

“Luckily I was able to laugh about it. It was nice to know that when it counted it worked.

“Without that security they could have taken many thousands from the bank. It was a nightmare as it was – but it could have been so much worse.

“Lloyds paid all the charges, they worked very hard to put things right as quickly as possible.”