A RETIRED British expat has sounded the alarm after a thief robbed him of €1,000 – while his bank has refused to pay out compensation.
Neville Stock, 66, from London, says he was scammed in broad daylight as he tried to withdraw money at an Estepona cash machine.
The dad-of-three claimed a ‘six foot three athletic Algerian man’ began ‘shouting aggressively’ at him as he was punching in his pin code.
- REVEALED: Notorious Costa del Sol trickster David Klein’s €1 million euro tax avoidance scam in Spain
- READ BETWEEN THE LINES: New statistics reveal spike in drug trafficking offences on Spain’s Costa del Sol following four killings in one month
- SPECIAL REPORT: How €680 million of Junta de Andalucia cash was embezzled in ERE scandal, Spain’s biggest EVER public money corruption case
Neville explained that an out of order ATM at his usual Unicaja branch forced him to go down the road to withdraw at CajaSur instead.
In a police denuncia seen by the Olive Press, he explains that the sun was ‘shining directly onto the CajaSur machine’ and that his vision was obscured.
The former home security company boss then accepted help from the stranger, trusting him to insert the card, which he instead secretly pocketed.
He then watched over Neville’s shoulder as he typed the numbers, before legging it and withdrawing at two nearby cash points in quick succession.
“I thought he was helping me,” Neville, who has lived in the area for 19 years with his wife, told the Olive Press.
Within three minutes, Neville had reported the theft to a bank manager at a nearby Unicaja.
However, despite his panic, the bank manager then took a four-minute phone call, before telling Neville he’d already lost €500.
The employee then cancelled the card before he realised that another €500 had been withdrawn.
Neville was later told by Unicaja that he would not be covered by the bank’s insurance as the thief had known his pin number.
It comes after police arrested an Algerian man in October in Marbella over the theft of credit cards from elderly people.
The 43-year-old was accused of stealing cards in Estepona and Marbella, using the same methods Neville fell victim to.
He is alleged to have convinced his victims their card was still in the ATM, before making off with it and withdrawing cash.
Policia Nacional officers caught him red-handed carrying four different cards from four different people.
Neville is convinced this is the man who targeted him in Estepona.
“I think it’s same person as in Marbella,” he told the Olive Press.
“The police never contacted me to ask me to recognise the guy on the CCTV at the two banks.
“Four weeks ago the woman in the translation office in Estepona said ‘you’ll be contacted within a week’ and they still haven’t been in touch.
“I blame Unicaja for being too slow and the police for – from the sound of it – doing nothing.
“I think they have apathy and think ‘oh this rich English bloke’, but I’m not rich.”
A Guardia Civil spokesperson said: “We are investigating this case. Normally if we have access to any CCTV it is up to the judge to authorise our access.”
Neville’s bank manager at Unicaja refused to comment on the allegations that staff were slow, but did say: “These kinds of crimes are not common.”
Neville, who is originally from Wembley and has two grandchildren, has still not had a response from the police since he filed a denuncia back on August 13.
Although, Neville lays blame on the police and Unicaja, he said he would do things differently in the future.
“I would stand in the queue and wait next time, and whenever possible use a Unicaja machine,” he said.
“I don’t want to say I wouldn’t trust strangers again, because 99 out of 100 people wouldn’t do that.
“I believe in the 99.”
If you or someone you know has been affected by a similar crime, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org