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My brother is a target for fraud, but he was given a bank card | Banks and building societies

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My brother lives alone and suffers from learning difficulties. He does not have good money-management skills so I have power of attorney and receive his bank statements.

His loneliness has meant that sometimes he has become a target for people who take advantage of him. Following a couple of such instances, I made sure he has a passbook to withdraw weekly cash from his current account, rather than using a bank card. He’s known in his local branch which is aware of the arrangement.

I also set up an Isa savings account with the intention that he would not have ready access to it. But, unbeknown to me, he was provided with a card linked to this account. Recently, I became aware of weekly ATM withdrawals of £150, amounting to £6,000. He revealed that these sums were given to a local woman who had befriended him and needed money. Police are involved, but Santander has only refunded just over £2,000. I was offered no explanation.
PW, London

This is a very sad case. A new voluntary code requires participating banks to refund blameless fraud victims. This should entitle your brother to a refund, since he clearly should not have been issued with a card to access his Isa, given the bank was aware of his vulnerability.

Moreover, branch staff should have questioned his withdrawals, for it transpires that he has taken out more than you realised, some over the counter at his local branch. It was these in-branch withdrawals that were covered by the refund.

Santander says it had been awaiting further information from you about the ATM transactions. It’s now agreed to reimburse these as well. It says: “Santander has the utmost sympathy for all who fall victim to the criminals who carry out these scams. We can confirm that, based on the circumstances of this case, we will provide a full reimbursement.”

If you need help email Anna Tims at [email protected] Include an address and phone number. Submission and publication are subject to our terms and conditions

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Cryptic crossword No 28,299

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Sudoku 5,036 medium

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Fill the grid so that every row, every column and every 3×3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9.

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How we met: ‘I was checking out the men in the theatre. He looked lovely’ | Life and style

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Peter Taylor moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake, a historic town in Ontario’s wine country, in 1975. “I joined a yachting company and started work building sailboats.”

The following February, his mother introduced him to an old family friend, who had a daughter about his age. “Our fathers had met in the forces,” he says. “I didn’t know Mary at the time.” Afterwards, he was invited to their family home for dinner.

“My mum called me and begged me to come over for dinner with this man so she could have an even number of guests,” remembers Mary Moogk. “I didn’t want to, because I had a ballet class and I had no desire to meet a total stranger.” She reluctantly agreed to go, on the condition that she could leave early for her class. “I wore a leotard and my other ballet clothes to prove a point and show that I wasn’t going to be staying.”

At the dinner, they discovered a shared love of the theatre and realised they had already crossed paths when Peter first moved to the town. “We were talking about a performance we’d both been to see and I suddenly remembered that I’d seen him before,” says Mary. “I’d been with my ballet class at the theatre and we had been checking out the men who came in. I remember thinking he looked lovely. I even remembered exactly where he was sitting.”

That evening, Mary decided against going to her ballet class and stayed at her mother’s house to speak to Peter. A month later, Mary brought him some homemade maple syrup to try. “We had talked about the fact both our families made it,” says Peter. They remained friends for another couple of months before things became romantic. “I just felt this feeling of closeness and comfort,” says Peter. “It felt completely right.” Mary was married, but living apart from the father of her two girls because the relationship was not working out. When they officially separated, Peter and Mary became a couple. “I met her girls and developed an incredible bond with them,” says Peter. “I fell for them hook, line and sinker.”

A family snap from about 1989.
A family snap from about 1989. Photograph: Provided by Peter Taylor

Peter and Mary moved in together in the September and married the following July, with a reception at Mary’s parents’ house. In 1978, they moved to Oshawa, Ontario, and their daughter was born the same year. In 1983, Peter set up a management consulting business and Mary began working alongside him. The family enjoyed outdoor pursuits in Canada, such as biking, sailing and skiing, as well as trips abroad. “We’re passionate about travelling together,” says Mary. “We’ve been to lots of places, including Asia, Australia, France and Kenya. We also love hiking and go to England for long-distance walks, like the Coast to Coast.”

Three years ago, Mary was in a serious car accident and broke more than 40 bones. After many surgeries, she has recovered, but she says they move at a “slower pace … I had to learn to walk again. Peter also had brain surgery, so we have both taken things a lot easier recently.”

They also love to spend time with their grownup daughters. “My eldest is working as an emergency room doctor, my second daughter is a teacher for autistic children and our youngest has just completed an MA in social work,” says Mary. Before the pandemic, they saw them regularly, along with their seven grandchildren. “We still try to meet outdoors as much as possible,” says Mary.

Peter believes the couple have always had an extraordinary bond. “I love her willingness to pull me up on things and keep me pointed in the right direction. I’ve never had this closeness with another person. There’s no words for it.”

For Mary, it is the feeling of comfort their relationship brings that has kept them together so long. “I can tell him absolutely anything and I am always myself. He gives me advice – not that I always agree,” she says, laughing. “I think that, in a relationship, it’s not the problems that make people grow apart, but the way you resolve them. If you can work through them with mutual respect, that will make you stronger.”

Want to share your story? Tell us a little about yourself, your partner and how you got together by filling in the form here.


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