Martin Lewis has heartbreakingly revealed one of his elderly relatives fell victim to a scam that could have cost them thousands of pounds, and may even result in identity fraud.
The 50-year-old Money Saving Expert hosted his Wallet Wednesdays on Good Morning Britain alongside Susanna Reid when he revealed what had happened.
Susanna, 52, had been urging viewers to not fall for online WhatsApp scams, that could see criminals posing as ‘children’ asking their ‘parents’ to send them money.
Martin then shared: ‘The problem with this is scammers are very, very sophisticated.
‘A close relative of mine was scammed yesterday – it was quite upsetting.
‘They were called by Microsoft Security Essentials, which is not Microsoft Security Essentials, and it was scammers, saying their computer had been defrauded, and in four hours on the phone, thinking this person was helping them, gave all their details.
‘An elderly relative of mine, and the honest truth is there are many times you’ll be called up by people trying to help you with scams, that’s what the scammers do.
‘When I spoke to this person – I don’t want to name them – I spoke to this person later in the day, and as soon as they said Microsoft Security Essentials called me I knew it’s a scam, they don’t call.’
Martin added: ‘It took me minutes to persuade, because obviously, when it’s family they treat you in a different way, and at one point I had to say, “Look forget my relationship to you, this is what I do for my job, this is a scam.”‘
He went on to say that luckily, three of the banks had stopped it and one bank would be refunding the money paid out.
But, Martin’s relative is still at risk of being ID frauded. He urged: ‘You have to be sceptical. If anybody calls you out of the blue, that you’re not expecting, be sceptical about it.’
Martin has also been speaking to the government about cold-calling scammers who knock on doors.
‘They should look at banning that one as well because then I should be able to sit on this programme and tell you if anybody ever cold-calls you from an insurance company or a bank that you don’t have a relationship with, or anything like that, it is a scam, because it will be illegal,’ he added.
‘Because we need that clarity to protect people.’
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV1.
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