Alert building society clerk commended for anti-fraud actions
A quick-thinking building society clerk came to the aid of a vulnerable woman who she thought might have been getting scammed.
Meg Hoedoafia, a member of staff at Nationwide in Mollison Square, Wallington, raised the alarm after an elderly customer came in to withdraw £300 and then came in later the same day to withdraw the same amount again.
Under the Banking Protocols scheme, backed by Sutton Council and the police, staff at banks and building societies are encouraged to contact police if they have concerns that a vulnerable person is being taken advantage of.
With the customer's consent, Ms Hoedoafia called police who spoke to the woman while she was at the branch on August 9. She told officers a builder had driven her from her home in Demesne Road, Wallington, to the building society to with draw the money and was waiting nearby.
Police approached the car but he drove away. Police then went to the woman's house and found two men waiting. It turned out the woman had approached the men to do the work and they quoted her £600. She paid £300 first and was going to pay the rest after the work was complete.
The work was done to her satisfaction and no offence had been committed. The workman who fled police said he did so because he panicked.
As a gesture of goodwill, the workmen said they would not be seeking the second payment of £300.
Although no crime was committed, police and the council commended Ms Hoedoafia for her work and presented her with a certificate.Inspector Ian Hicks told her: "What you did was really good and it illustrates what we can all achieve by working together. If you suspect that your customers may be withdrawing money for unscrupulous traders, then please don’t hesitate to call us."
Ms Hoedoafia said: "I’m really happy I did what I did to help protect the customer."
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