A WELL-known businessman says he has lost everything after being conned out of over £100,000 by sophisticated scammers.

Colin Christy, a chartered quantity surveyor and project manager, is devastated after he was targeted in a highly elaborate telephone fraud.

The 68-year-old, who is married to Edwina, said he is now in a living nightmare and fears he will lose his home.

Colin said: “I feel cheated and let down.

“It’s going to destroy our lives.

“We are devastated.

“I now have a lead weight constantly in the bottom of my stomach and I can’t get rid of it.”

The nightmare began on March 6 when Colin, from Kilmacolm, received a call from a man purportedly phoning from BT Openreach on behalf of broadband supplier Clear Business, about the problems he had been experiencing with his broadband.

Colin said he had no reason to doubt that the call was legitimate as the fraudsters had somehow obtained private personal information and also knew about the specific history of the problems he had endured with his broadband.

He added: “I had no reason to question that it wasn’t a legitimate person on the phone because I had reported the issue to the broadband company.

“They were pretty credible in terms of what they said they were doing.

“It’s theft in the most elaborate way.

“We could be without a home now.”

The fraudsters gained Colin’s confidence by showcasing what appeared to be a professional knowledge of the inner workings of broadband, before gaining remote control of his computer by asking him to download an application.

Colin said: “They asked me to download TeamViewer which is a piece of common software which allows people to work remotely.

“Most IT companies use it.

“Why would I doubt that BT Openreach wouldn’t use it?”

After a number of days and a series of phone calls Colin was then told he was owed ‘compensation’ for the problems.

But instead the fraudsters conned him out of over £100,000 — by tricking him into believing they had paid him thousands of pounds extra in compensation into his online account which they then coerced him into transferring ‘back’ by bank transfer.

He said: “However they have done it, they made it look like extra compensation was paid into my account.”

Colin said he felt physically sick when he realised that over £100k had been taken from his business and savings accounts.

He said: “I thought, how do I tell Edwina?

“I was beside myself.”

It could not have happened at a worse time as he and his wife had just sold their house and bought a new property.

He said: “Selling the house was supposed to be good news we had been waiting for but in the same week this happened.”

Colin, who has been a customer with the Royal Bank of Scotland for the past 50 years, said he feels completely let down by the response he has received from the company so far and he claims they failed to contact the police despite reassuring him they had.

He said: “They have made me out to be the villain, not the victim.”

He added: “The bank had reassured me that they had contacted the police about it but when our lawyer phoned them to get a crime reference number there wasn’t one, as it hadn’t been reported.

“So three weeks had passed by, when the police could have been investigating it.”

A spokeswoman from RBS said today: “Unfortunately our customer has been the victim of a scam.

“We are committed to protecting customers from fraud and scams and providing advice on how they can protect themselves and their data.

“Cyber fraud is an industry-wide issue and organised crime gangs are more sophisticated in their methods of committing fraud then ever before.

“Customers should never disclose passwords, or any security information to anyone.

“We will never call a customer to ask for that information and we will never ask customers to move their money to another bank account.”

Colin says the police have confirmed that they have managed to recover about £27,000 of the stolen funds but added that RBS have left him in the dark about the situation.

Sergeant Danny Godfrey of Greenock police says officers are investigating the fraud and he appealed for residents to remain vigilant.

He said: “We don’t want any other local residents caught out in these scams, which are sadly becoming more prevalent.”

Anyone with information is asked to phone Greenock police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.