Crook at banking call centre emptied customers’ accounts

A Fife bank call centre worker used his job to defraud customers out of almost £37,000.

Two clients had made routine calls to the bank to have their addresses changed on their accounts.

Mark Abram kept the information and he later phoned up his own bank on days off pretending to be these customers.

Through the bogus calls, he managed to have money transferred to another account he had apparently set up in someone else’s name.

Abram (38), of Craigmyle Street, Dunfermline, worked at a Lloyds Bank call centre.

He appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court where admitted forming a fraudulent scheme.

He twice contacted Lloyds Bank, pretending to be customers requesting the funds within their investor accounts to be transferred to external accounts and between 13th February and 3rd April 2017, he obtained £36,946.96 by fraud.

Depute fiscal Claire Bremner told the court that Abram had been employed at a Lloyds Bank call centre at the time of the offences.

He took a call from the first victim who asked to change his address in relation to an ISA. Abram did not update the man’s account.

Then a few days later, Abram phoned Lloyds pretending to be that customer and asked for money in the ISA to be transferred into an account in the name of ‘Sean McGuinness’.

When the customer called up with a genuine enquiry and he was told his £22,530 had been removed into another account.

A second customer was also targeted after a routine to the call centre to change the address on his account.

Again, it was Abram who took the call and again the requested change was not made.

Instead, Abram repeated his scam when he called Lloyds pretending to be this customer and over £14,000 was transferred into the account of ‘Sean McGuinness’ this time.

The court was told Sean McGuinness was someone who was known to Abram and who had died in May 2017.

Police were later told by the mother of Mr McGuinness that he had told her that bank accounts had been opened in his name without his consent.

Once again, this customer was told by the bank that his money was missing.

Internal inquiries by the bank confirmed that Abram had taken both calls and also that he had been off work on the days the bogus calls were received.

When interviewed by his employers, Abram denied committing the offences but admitted his finances were in a “terrible” state.

He later sent a text message to the bank saying he was resigning with immediate effect and the police were contacted.

Defence solicitor Roshni Joshi said Abram lives with his mother. He is now in another job, not in the financial sector, she added.

Sheriff Alastair Brown said the offence involved “a great deal of planning and was a very serious breach of trust.”

The sheriff called for reports, bail was continued and Abram will be sentenced on 25th March.

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