Coffee shop owner scammed out of £32,000 by online fraudsters

A coffee shop owner has been scammed out of £32,000 by online criminals - leaving him unable to afford to even buy paper cups for his business. 

Adam Taylor who owns Into the Wild Coffee, based in Hale in Greater Manchester, thought he had been contacted by his online banking service.

But, in reality, it was a fake that had been set up by fraudsters.

Owner of Into the Wild coffee shop in Hale was scammed out of £32K Credit: ITV Granada

The coffee shop owner was being contacted through the messaging service on his online banking app, as fraudsters carried out a sophisticated scam known as 'number spoofing', where criminals can make it appear that messages are coming from a reputable source.

Pretending to be from his online banking service Tide, they persuaded him to move £32,000 from his business account.

"Basically we were scammed of all our money," he said.

"So we worked all the way through lockdown, trying to build the business up, and now we're back to square one again.

"It's been very difficult to build it to a point where it is now, and now we're just staring all over again to be honest."

"I was being messaged through the messaging service, which was Tide's messaging service, so somehow they managed to infiltrate that," Adam said.

"When I checked the number which I was meant to call, there was a website, obviously that was a fake website.

"I called the number up, and I spoke to somebody on the other side who acted as a Tide banking member, and they were able to send me codes through the messaging service in the app."

He added: "They're very desperate people, and if they've got children I don't know how they look at themselves to be honest. Just very low, very low people."

When Adam realised he had been scammed, he had to wait nine days for Tide Banking to help him.

He was then just offered £100 compensation. Since then £13,000 has been recovered.

Adam still feels Tide could and should have done more

He said: "I never send that kind of amount of money to anybody - that should have been a flag straight away.

"As soon as that money left my account they should have frozen it straight away and said 'hang on, are you really meaning to send this kind of money somewhere?'

"Call me up, actually speak to me."

Tide say it is 'very sorry' for what happened to Paul, and agree it should have phoned him quicker to avoid adding to his stress.

It said fraud prevention and security is its utmost priority, and it makes clear to members Tide would never call them or ask them to transfer money, something they also make clear on their website.

A spokesperson added: "As soon as we were informed of the fraud, we acted very quickly, and we were able to recover more than £13,000 for Mr Taylor.

"We have looked into the matter thoroughly and believe we did all we could to retrieve as much of the money as we could as quickly as possible."

What can you do to not fall victim of financial fraudsters?

Detective Inspector Lynden James from the North West regional Organised Crime Unit

"Just be conscious of receiving cold calls that you're not expecting and always go back to the phone numbers that are on the back of your bank card or are on your actual online banking rather than an email you might have been sent or a phone call you might have received."

For more information and advice on spotting scams