A Glasgow woman has been left “distraught” after falling victim to a bank scam that emptied the family’s accounts.

Catherine LeMay said her childrens' accounts had also been affected and wanted to share her experience to alert others to the fraudulent scheme, which BBC anchor Emily Maitlis revealed she had almost fallen victim to.

Mrs LeMay said she responded to a text purporting to be from Royal Mail about a missed parcel and clicked on a link to rebook it.

The mother-of-two, who lives in Glasgow's west end, said this had happened during the school run while she was "rushing and flustered" and so she hadn't checked the authenticity of the website. She paid £1.15 for a re-delivery.

She mentioned the text to a friend who warned her that it could be a scam.

She said: “I looked again at the website and realised it was a replica and quickly phoned Santander to cancel my card. The card hadn’t been used so I was fairly calm at this point.”

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Two days later, again at a time when she was preparing to collect her children from school, she received a phone call from “Mark from Santander” who spoke with an English accent and said he was from the fraud department and wanted to discuss some unusual activity on her account.

She said: “I queried whether he was from the bank and he asked me to open the Internet and check the phone number.

“It was indeed a Santander number. He stayed on the phone for over an hour telling me about the parcel ‘Fishing Scam’ that 36,000 people across the UK has been hit by, including me.”

She said he asked her about a payment of £1.15, then took her through a security check, which she said had allayed her fears about the authenticity of the call.

He told her the bank had discovered "lots of suspicious activity" in her account including three attempts to apply for credit cards in her name and pornography websites trying to take money.

He said a Samsung phone in Liverpool was logged into her internet banking account.

BBC anchor Emily Maitlis revealed today that she had almost fallen victim to a similar scam

He said he was going to set her up with a new account and advised her to transfer her funds as, “ all her money was at risk.”

She said: “He ‘randomly generated’ a new account number and sort code so I could pay the money to my new account without alerting the fraudsters who would try and grab all my money if they realised what I was doing.”

The mother-of-two, who worked for Santander herself before studying for a law degree, said she was still a bit unsure but he then sent her a security text purporting to be from the bank.

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She said: “In the cold light of day it sounds like I was pretty naïve but at the heightened state of panic I just wasn’t thinking straight and I thought I was doing the right thing to save our money.

"He was being so helpful, saying that there were gangs operating in Liverpool but I wasn't to worry because they were going to make sure my accounts were safe."

She made two payments to this 'new account' but while doing so her husband called to tell her that Santander had been in touch to alert the family to the fraud. By which point the fraudster had hung up "with all the family’s savings".

She said she had “hardly stopped crying” since Thursday and had reported the scam to the police but was now feeling relieved after Santander agreed to deposit the funds she had lost back into her account.

BBC presenter Emily Maitlis revealed today that she almost fell victim to a similar bank fraud scheme.

The former Newsnight anchor wrote about her experience on Twitter and described how the sophisticated scam was nearly successful.

Like Mrs LeMay, the presenter said a missed parcel had provided the "way in" for the fraudsters.

BBC anchor Emily Maitlis revealed today that she had almost fallen victim to a similar scam

She said: "I got called by the fraud detection squad at my bank and told I’d been a victim of fraud with attempts made on my bank account. I asked how I knew he was for real snd he told me to google the lost and stolen cards number.

"Sure enough the same number came up. So I listened as he told me I’d had attempts made on my card, my accounts had been visualised , and my email was also compromised. I’d have to change everything over. I was horrified. I suspected it was because I’d clinked on a link for a missed parcel.

"And that was there way in. So I then asked for the name and email of the fraud detection guy. And suddenly the phone went dead. So I called back my bank and said I’ve just spoken to one of your guys about attempts made on my account and thy said no you haven’t.

"So then it dawns on me the fraud detection call is actually the fraudster. And I feel sick. Because it’s all a but matrix. And I tell the story to a friend at lunch the next day whose face slowly drains as he realises the exact same thing has happened to him.

"And they even played the “ this call will be recorded for training purposes” schpiel at the beginning. To make it sound bona fide so this is I think a now recurring thing that gets you at your most vulnerable by telling you you’re already a victim early evening. Off guard."

Katie Watts, consumer expert at MoneySavingExpert said both women had been targeted by a "common and awful" scam called ‘safe account’ fraud.

She said: "The seemingly small-time stealing of a few quid through a fake redelivery text then leads to a sophisticated follow-up where criminals pretend to be from your bank and then get you to transfer all your money to a ‘new’ and ‘safe’ bank account.

"A real bank would never ask you to do this – you don’t need to transfer money to secure your account.

"If you receive a suspicious call from your bank when you aren’t expecting it, hang up and contact it using either the official number on your card or bank statement, or by dialling 159 (though not all banks are part of this service).

"As a general rule, never click links in text messages or emails you weren’t expecting.

"If you think it might be real, search for the real website independently instead and use its official customer services."