Generous readers raise more than £11k to help Yorkshire great-grandfather John Thompson

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Generous Yorkshire Post readers have raised more than £11,000 to help a great-grandfather who was conned out of his life savings by evil fraudsters.

The nation's most trusted newspaper set up the Just Giving Page on Wednesday to help 91-year-old John Thompson after he lost nearly £15,000 to the criminals who tricked him by claiming to be from the security department of his bank.

John Thompson, 91, lost nearly 15,000 to the criminals who tricked him by claiming to be from the security department of his bank.

John Thompson, 91, lost nearly 15,000 to the criminals who tricked him by claiming to be from the security department of his bank.

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In just 24 hours, more than £11,000 has been raised thanks to generous donations from Yorkshire Post readers from across the country.

Yorkshire Post Editor James Mitchinson said: "I would just like to say thank you to those who have donated. People who don't know Mr Thompson, coming to his aid like this is actually quite uplifting. They, as we were, are clearly so saddened by what has happened to him that they are moved to help a stranger.

"I am hopeful that we will manage to give this gentleman his life savings back, but more importantly give him back his faith in human beings.

"It isn't going too far to say I am genuinely emotional about what is happening. It just goes to show, newspapers and their readers - working together - are worth their weight in gold."

John Thompson, 91, lost nearly 15,000 to the criminals who tricked him by claiming to be from the security department of his bank.

John Thompson, 91, lost nearly 15,000 to the criminals who tricked him by claiming to be from the security department of his bank.

Read more: Yorkshire Post sets up Just Giving page to help great-grandfather conned out of life-savings by evil fraudsters
Mr Thompson used free call blocking software on his landline which can be sued to screen out unwanted telephone calls, but the scammers used sophisticated methods to make it look like they were calling from his bank's local branch number.

Mr Thompson spoke out about the scam in a bid to stop others falling victim to fraudsters.

"First of all I put the phone down because I thought it could be a scam," Mr Thompson said.

"Then about 20 minutes later the phone rang again and the chap said he was the bank manager at the Doncaster branch."

Former police officer and firefighter John Thompson, 91, lost nearly 15,000 to the criminals who tricked him by claiming to be from the security department of his bank.

Former police officer and firefighter John Thompson, 91, lost nearly 15,000 to the criminals who tricked him by claiming to be from the security department of his bank.

On this call, the "bank manager" told Mr Thompson there had been a security breach on his account and he needed to transfer his funds into a new, safer account. The man was able to give him personal information including his account balance, most recent payments and even his late mother's maiden name.

Mr Thompson went on to transfer a total of £14,700.

Read more: Great-grandfather, 91, issues warning after losing life savings to telephone fraudsters
"I realised, after I sat down and thought about it, that it could be a scam," said Mr Thompson, who was an assistant inspector with Kenya Police in the 1950s.

"I called in to my local branch the following day and sure enough, they informed me it was a scam."

Unfortunately, despite a number of meetings, letters and phone calls, Mr Thompson has been unable to get a refund for his loss from the bank as it is seen as an 'Authorised Push Payment', meaning he had moved the money himself rather than it being stolen out of his account.

He said: "I do feel rather foolish to think I did this and it was a scam - but they were so convincing.

I'm not a young man any more - I turned 91 last week. If speaking out helps one other person from falling for the same thing then I'll be pleased I've done it."

CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO THE JUST GIVING PAGE.