Pensioner, 71, reveals how he was scammed out of £330,000 life savings

Pensioner, 71, who’s forced to carry on working after fraudsters posing as his bank scammed him out of £330,000 says it’s like being ‘stabbed in the heart’ and didn’t tell his children for four years to avoid their devastation

  • House surveyor Dennis, 71, scammed out of his £330,000 life savings in 2015
  • Said it was like being ‘stabbed in the heart’ and couldn’t face telling his children
  • He was contacted by a person pretending to be a worker from Dennis’ bank

A pensioner who was scammed out of his £330,000 life savings has revealed that it’s like being ‘stabbed in the heart’ but confessed that he still didn’t tell his children ‘for four years’ to avoid their devastation.

British OAP Dennis appeared on ITV’s Tonight investigation Scams: Ripping off the Elderly?, last night, to talk about his traumatic experience for the first time publicly.

The house surveyor, who has been forced to continue to work because of his loss in savings, was contacted in 2015 by a person pretending to be a staff member from Dennis’ bank. 

He was told that internal fraudsters were trying to hack into his bank and that he should move his money to a safer account that had already been set up in his name – with the man even providing most of Dennis’ details.

Dennis moved across his £330,000 life savings but was distraught to discover he had been scammed – with the money disappearing.

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Dennis (pictured) appeared on ITV’s Tonight investigation Scams: Ripping off the Elderly?, last night, to talk about his traumatic experience for the first time publicly

Speaking on the show, Dennis said: ‘It’s almost as if you’ve been stabbed through the heart because you’ve lost a huge chunk of money through no fault of your own.

‘And there’s no way of getting it back unless outside sources are persuaded to let you have your money back.’ 

He added: ‘I lost sleep, I was very thin. For four years I didn’t tell the children because of the devastation it would make.

‘The people who are trying to defraud us are very, very sophisticated. It can happen to anyone and it happened to me.’ 

Dennis received a call on his mobile which he thought was from his bank but it was a spoof caller – despite the unidentified man shockingly knowing some of Dennis details beforehand.

The house surveyor (pictured), who has been forced to continue to work because of his loss in savings, was contacted in 2015 by a person pretending to be a staff member from Dennis’ bank

The caller claimed he was investigating internal bank fraud and sounded ‘very plausible’, according to Dennis.

The pensioner was told that fraudsters inside the bank were trying to hack into his account and that he should move his money to a safer one that had already been set up in his name.

Dennis moved across his £330,000 life savings but was distraught to later discover he had been scammed – with the pensioner never finding the money again.

The house surveyor should be enjoying his retirement but has had to continue working because of the ‘hole in his savings’. 

Today, victims of push payment fraud should be protected if their banks are signed up to a certain scheme.

A push payment scam is where victims are tricked into transferring money, often by criminals posing as their bank, the police, a builder or even the taxman. Others are convinced into spending money on goods or investments that don’t exist.

Dennis (pictured with a loved one) was told that fraudsters were trying to hack into his bank and that he should move his money to a safer account that had already been set up in his name – with the man even providing most of Dennis’ details

Financial investigator Jack Buster told Tonight that he believes Dennis should’ve been alerted as he used a special bank transfer called Chaps (Clearing House Automated Payment System) – which is used to carry out same-day electronic payments for large amounts – and said banks have a duty of care. 

Back in 2017 the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) – which was established by Parliament to help people when they have problems with financial businesses – ruled the bank wasn’t at fault. 

Jack said: ‘Dennis was able to instruct his bank to send money to what he thought was himself of course, it wasn’t. It was in a different name. 

‘But his bank should’ve pointed this out to him, that there was a risk of fraud.’ Jack argues the FOS should reopen Dennis’ case: ‘They failed Dennis… this is rough justice and I think Dennis deserves another shot.’

Dennis (pictured) moved across his £330,000 life savings but was distraught to discover he had been scammed – with the money disappearing

‘This is something that’s happened to me, and to other people, where we haven’t done anything wrong. We’ve been outwitted by people who are professionals.. and they’ve got to be stopped,’ said Dennis.

A spokesperson from the Financial Ombudsman Service told the Tonight show: ‘The Financial Ombudsman Service was established by Parliament to help people when they have problems with financial businesses. 

‘We make decisions based on what is fair and reasonable for each individual complaint we see. Before we reach a decision, both parties have every opportunity to provide information or make arguments which they would like us to consider. 

‘Once a case has been closed, if a customer feels that new evidence has come to light that was not considered at the time, they should get in touch with us and we will see if we can help.’

ITV Tonight, Thursdays 7:30pm ITV

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