My Celebrity Life

Martin Lewis breaks shattering news to caller she’s likely lost £8,000 as he issues stark warning over cryptocurrency scams

Financial expert Martin Lewis had to break the terrible news to a This Morning caller that she’s probably lost £8,000 after being swindled by a cryptocurrency scam online.

On Thursday’s edition of the ITV talk show, a woman called Julie called up to speak to Holly Willoughby, Phillip Schofield and Martin after feeling concerned about investments she had made into a cryptocurrency scheme.

After revealing that she first spotted the scheme on an online advert, MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin immediately interrupted her, warning people not to get tricked by online commercials claiming to be selling Bitcoin.

Martin stated that if these adverts have a celebrity face on it, such as his own or Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden, they’re ‘almost certainly’ scams.

Julie explained to Martin that she bought into the supposed cryptocurrency scheme as following her retirement, she was going through a ‘bad patch’ in her life, when she wasn’t earning a lot of money.

She paid into the scheme on her credit cards as she ‘didn’t have upfront money’ to give.

Holly, Phillip and Martin are saddened as they hear Julie’s story (Picture: ITV)

However, when the fraud department of her credit card company contacted her to warn her that she may have been scammed, she overrode them, making ‘four or five deposits’ in total.

As Martin covered his mouth in shock, Julie recalled how every time she asked if she could take her money out, she was told, “Well you can earn an income on this.”

‘They make you add more money,’ Martin remarked. ‘Every time you want to take money out, they say something like, “Well you’ll need to put more money in to get your money out.”’

Revealing that she’s already put in £8,000, Julie told Holly, Phillip and Martin that she was also instructed to pay capital gains tax in advance, with Martin stressing that taxes are paid to HM Revenue and Customs, not directly to companies.

Martin was clearly hoping he could offer better news (Picture: ITV)

Martin praised Julie’s ‘bravery’ in coming on the show, saying that it must be ‘very difficult to admit this’.

Expressing his hope that her story ‘acts as a warning to everybody watching’, Martin informed Julie that every time she overrode her credit card company when they reached out to warn her about possible fraud, ‘you are losing your right to get this money back’.

He added that while what Julie has been through can be described as a ‘scam’, it’s almost a ‘confidence trick’, stating: ‘You start to believe them more than you believe your own bank.’

‘Psychologically, these people are brilliant. If only these horrible people used their skills to do good, they could be really productive,’ he said.

At this point, Phillip chimed in to ask Martin to provide a definitive answer on whether or not he believes Julie has lost the £8,000 she gave away.

Martin gives Julie advice on steps she can take to maybe look into getting her money back (Picture: ITV)

With brutal but much-needed honesty, Martin responded: ‘What I would do is I would suggest you’ve probably lost the money. There are ways to try to get it back, but I would start on the presumption you’re not getting back. Talk to your credit card company, see what they can do, stop any transactions, reverse it. Speak to Action Fraud.’

Martin stated that fraud ‘is the biggest crime in this country’, adding that while Action Fraud is ‘hideously under-resourced’, people ‘should always still report it’.

The TV presenter said that he has called for online scams ‘to be put in the Online Harms Bill, but the government for some reason doesn’t seem to think that scams are an online harm’.

He advised Julie to call Citizens Advice Scam Action, as they ‘can give you one-on-one help to see if you can get your money back’.

‘But I need to be plain – I would start from the presumption you won’t get any money back and anything you do get back, having overridden your credit card firm, warning you not to do this, would be a benefit. And the best we can hope for is to thank you for your bravery for inspiring others to not do this,’ he stated.

As the call came to an end, Holly said: ‘You would have made a difference today Julie,’ while Phillip added: ‘I’m so sorry Julie.’

This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.


Credit: Original article published here.

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