A BANK worker acted as the “inside woman” to help a gang of credit card fraudsters based in New York City steal £50,000 from her employers.

Charlotte Kenny, of The Sorrells, Benfleet, was a call handler at the Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters in Thanet Grange, Westcliff, when she provided the scammers with customer details between March and July 2015.

Basildon Crown Court heard the 26-year-old sent texts to “bandit” phones in the United States including card security numbers, dates of birth and the maiden names of customer’s mothers.

Although customers suffered inconvenience the losses were accrued by RBS.

She admitted fraud by abuse of position but was handed an 18 month suspended prison sentence after Judge Ian Graham heard she was “easily-led” and suffered from bi-polar disorder.

Peter Gair, prosecuting, said Kenny breached the trust of her employers and up to 12 customers, who handed over information about their accounts.

He said: “She was the inside woman. She provided vital information to these fraudsters concerning credit card numbers, plus the personal information to back that up.”

The fraud was uncovered in September 2015 after members of the gang were arrested by the NYPD, following suspicious purchases.

Officers found text messages from three phone numbers listed as Charlie, Charlie 2 and Charlie New. Kenny listed one of the numbers with her own human resources department at RBS.

She was arrested at work by City of London Police. After destroying a loose SIM card in her pocket she told officers: “I know what it looks like but it’s to protect someone else.”

Police found paperwork at her home made to look like meaningless handwritten notes, but it actually contained details of an account targeted in the scam.

Mr Gair said there was no evidence Kenny benefitted personally, although she had sent her own bank details to the scammers.

Matthew Bone, mitigating, said Kenny was “vulnerable” because of her psychiatric condition and one of the fraudsters was an associate of her uncle.

He said: “It’s quite clear that this lady was not the brains behind this operation. She was not even one of the people committing the fraud.

“She is a lady who would struggle in a custodial setting and a lady who is very anxious about her future today.”

Kenny was ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and was placed under a curfew for four months.