A man in his sixties struggled to survive on Universal Credit after losing his life savings to an investment scam. Losing around £30,000, both he and his wife had to come out of retirement to try to pay off the debt they found themselves in.
John, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, wanted to invest in stocks and shares. Like most people, he wasn’t sure how to invest. So when he saw an advertisement on Facebook, for a company that trades on behalf of its customers, this seemed ideal.
Initially only investing small amounts of money, John’s confidence in the company grew as he began to see a return on his investment. He invested around £30,000 in total, though it was only when he found he was unable to access his money that he realised the company was operating a scam.
Describing the rollercoaster of emotions when he realised he’d been tricked, John said: “We seesawed between feelings of humiliation, embarrassment, anger and depression. We had no idea you could get money back from a scam. After speaking to the bank, we thought it was a lost cause.”
Getting money back from an investment scam
CEL Solicitors investigated the scam and then made a financial complaint on behalf of the couple.
It is the duty of banks to help protect their clients, and as such, we were able to argue that they should have had stringent checks in place to prevent the loss of John’s life savings to the investment scam. Commenting on the moment they got the money back from their bank, John said: “When we received an offer to reclaim the money we lost, my wife and I openly wept”.
Investment scams are the most common scams we see at CEL. People in the UK have lost vast sums of money in a scam epidemic, which is showing no signs of slowing down.. The most common investment scams include cryptocurrency scams, forex scams, binary scams as well as investments in commodities such as gold.
Commenting on the rise in scams in the UK, Paul Hampson, a director at CEL Solicitors, said: “Sophisticated criminals are constantly jumping on the next big investment opportunity, to con innocent victims into handing over large sums of cash, but it’s not just investment scams that people need to watch out for. We’re also seeing a rise in romance scams and impersonation scams too. Sadly, if there is an opportunity to con innocent victims out of their hard-earned money, scammers are taking it. However, help is available so people should never be embarrassed to come forward”.