A YOUNG MAN whose parents live in Etal, Northumberland, was forced to turn DIY detective after he was robbed of £600 in an incredible credit card scam which his bank refused to believe was a robbery and police apparently declined to investigate.
Eric Musgrave, whom readers will remember as ‘Eric from Berwick’, a recent £50,000 winner on ITVs Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? speaks with pride of his 24-year-old son Teddy’s determination to track down the thief who had plundered his bank account.
“I was very impressed with Teddy’s resilience and nous in tracking down CCTV footage of the miscreant who nicked his credit card and PIN number,” Eric told The Clarion.
Initially, Eric explained, NatWest Bank had accepted that a thief had managed to steal Teddy’s newly issued credit card and PIN number in two separate raids on his postal pigeonhole in the block of flats in Belsize Park where he lives.
“But weeks later,” said Eric, “NatWest told him they believed he had used the card himself because, coincidentally, he had bought items from Selfridge’s on his DEBIT card just hours before a fraudulent £200 purchase was made using the CREDIT card in the same store!
“They also claimed that because the credit card had been used on London buses and in the Tube it was ‘proof’ that Teddy was using it himself. But, like millions of other Londoners he usually uses his NatWest debit card to travel across the capital,” said Eric.
As a result, NatWest refused to make good the £600 that had been stolen. Worse still, the following day the police closed the case without even taking a statement less than 24 hours after he had reported it.
That was when Teddy turned ‘Sherlock Holmes’. After getting information from NatWest about where the transactions took place, he spent time contacting shops and asking if they had CCTV.
One shop had deleted footage since the purchase but the second shop still had the recording showing a man not fitting Teddy’s description buying some trainers.
Armed with the proof, Teddy confronted NatWest again who reluctantly and rather stingily offered him £50, but only after his story appeared in a London newspaper, the Ham&High. The bank increased its offer to £100 after journalist Eric took his son’s case to the Mail Online website.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Metropolitan Police have reopened their investigation armed with the CCTV footage. Teddy was angered by the experience and the compensation offer has done little to appease him.
“I don’t think the amount is acceptable for all the time I’ve spent getting evidence and all the worry and stress I suffered,“ he said. “I also want to make sure the police will investigate properly or it could happen again.”
Eric added: “Depressingly, the Met Police WPc Teddy is now dealing with said she intends to go along to view the CCTV but might not get there as she is dealing with 30 other live cases.
“Welcome to modern Britain!”
But that is a scandal for another day. . .
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