Man, 26, has £18,000 stolen after 'drink is spiked' on night out in London

·2-min read
Spiking drink with drugs in a bar or night club
Ben Gregory believes he had his drink spiked before fraudsters stole his money. (Getty)

A man had £18,000 stolen by criminals who allegedly spiked his drink before using financial apps on his smartphone to take the money.

Ben Gregory, 26, said he discovered the money was gone after going on a night out with friends in Clapham, south London, this summer.

He woke up the next day “dizzy, dazed” and found someone had emptied his savings account and set up several overdrafts.

“I felt terrible, absolutely terrible,” he told the BBC.

“Over the next few days I couldn't stop thinking about it, couldn't sleep, found it very hard to eat. Because ultimately I felt worried and vulnerable.”

Watch: Girls Night In: Nightclub boycott to highlight drink spiking

Gregory said he received a phone call from his brother asking if everything was okay after an overdraft was set up on their joint account.

He later found out fraudsters had created two £2,500 bank overdrafts and also took his entire savings after transferring the money to his current account.

They stole just over £18,000 in total from his American Express, Monzo, HSBC and Revolut accounts.

American Express and Monzo returned Gregory’s money within days.

But his refund request was initially refused by HSBC and Revolut before they backed down and gave him the money.

HSBC told the BBC: "We have thoroughly reviewed this case, and in light of new information we will be providing a full refund to Mr Gregory.

"While we have an experienced team looking for signs of fraud, as this case sadly highlights, scammers are unscrupulous criminals who use a range of techniques to exploit their victims.

"We encourage people to be on their guard."

Revolut added: "This was an unusual case where the payments were authorised by the customer but, as is now clear, without his consent.

"We very much regret the distress and inconvenience to Mr Gregory and we have reimbursed his losses."

Ben Gregory went on a night out with friends in Clapham, south London. (Getty)
Ben Gregory went on a night out with friends in Clapham, south London. (Getty)

The incident follows reports of women being spiked via needle injections on nights out in recent months.

There have been 274 cases of spiking with a needle in the period from September to 5 November of this year.

Meanwhile, drink spiking has long been a problem, with 2,600 recorded cases in the UK between 2015 and 2019.

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Metropolitan Police Inspector Dave Laurie advised people to buy their own drinks, watch them poured and not accept any from strangers.

He added if your drink doesn’t taste right, you should throw it away.

Watch: Student fears she was spiked by injection on night out

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