Pensioner, 80, loses £33,000 to conman’s scam tactics – ‘let down’

Kym Marsh and scammed victim confront fraudster

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Sadly, older and vulnerable people are often prime targets for scammers seeking to line their own pockets. As a result, it is important for individuals to remain vigilant to protect themselves and their money. 

Age UK previously shared the story of David, an 80-year-old man who sadly fell victim to a malicious scam.

The pensioner lived alone, and was contacted out of the blue by a roofer who charged him thousands for work he did not need.

He was once again contacted weeks later by a builder, who said he’d heard about David’s plight from the local police.

He explained to David he was there to rectify the issue with housing repairs.

A confused David agreed to the builder carrying out the works on his property, however, the situation quickly spiralled out of control.

Unbeknownst to David, there were a group of conmen in his area who were allegedly targeting older people with unnecessary roofing and house repairs.

It was claimed they were targeting vulnerable people, and then making off with the cash for their own personal gain.

One of David’s neighbours became concerned when they saw him outside his property. The man looked withdrawn, and his house was in a state of disrepair.

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With quick thinking, the neighbour asked whether David thought he may be the victim of a scam.

Still confused, David agreed to show the neighbour his bank statements in the hopes of getting to the bottom of the matter.

David’s family stated his spending habits had changed dramatically during this time period.

While in the past he had withdrawn £250 in cash, he had switched to withdrawing thousands of pounds per week to pay the conman.

In total, over a nine month period, David ended up parting with £33,000 worth of his savings. 

Unfortunately, during this stressful time David became very ill, and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

He said he was stressed due to finding his finances challenging, as well as the harrowing ordeal of being scammed in this way.

David sadly died of cancer a few months later in a hospice, after the scammers were stopped, but his family said they felt “let down” by his bank which they say could have done more to protect him.

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For those people who have experienced cold calls, this can be confusing and sometimes even unsettling.

Cold calls are not necessarily a scam, but there are some instances of scammers using the telephone to target individuals.

If someone feels they have come into contact with a scam call, then Age UK has offered guidance.

Those unsure whether an organisation is genuine have been urged to hang up and ring the company they claim to be from.

It is important in this sense to find the number for oneself, and not use one provided by the caller.

In a similar way, Britons should never be rushed or pressured into making a decision.

Those who feel intimidated or harassed should always hang up the phone, without worry of being rude or dismissive.

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