Family feels ‘helpless’ as vulnerable pensioner loses thousands in string of scams

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Jim, 87, from Doncaster, is a full time carer for his wife, who has advanced dementia, and is himself in recovery from prostate cancer. The devoted husband does all the chores around the house and is also happy to lend a listening ear when he gets a phone call.

Unfortunately, heartless fraudsters have many times taken advantage of his good-hearted nature to con him out of thousands of pounds.

He appeared on BBC One’s Dirty Rotten Scammers, to share his latest story of being a victim, where he lost £5,000 after fraudsters took control of his computer.

The pensioner, from Doncaster, came across an advert for a Bitcoin investment scheme.

He was not getting any interest on his savings with his bank, so he decided to invest £500 with the scheme.

Once he had signed up, he had a call from a salesman, asking for access to his computer to set up the investment.

Jim said: “They got me to open my laptop, get it on twin screen, he said I’ll do everything for you.

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“He said, at any stage if you want to, you can withdraw your money, whenever you like.”

After Jim had finished speaking to them and they had processed the payment, he found out that they had in fact taken £5,000.

Jim contacted his bank, but it was too late to recover the funds.

He tried to retrieve the money by calling the company, but they said that his account did not exist.

He said: “I worry about the thousands of old people like myself that don’t know anything about scams.

“These things play on your mind, they make you worry, what’s next.

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“Are they going to get any more money out of the account?”

Hoax callers and fraudsters have targeted the elderly husband many times, defrauding him out of a total of £6,000.

In one recent case, a man phoned up and said that there was a warrant out for his arrest in South Africa, in a bid to get him to hand over cash.

Jim’s family have become greatly concerned for his online safety after the string of incidents.

Grandson CJ said that he believes he has been scammed some eight times.

He said: “It’s a helpless situation, he just will always answer the phone.

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“He will always entertain whoever it is that’s trying to exploit him.

“My nan has advanced dementia at the moment. He’s caring for her round the clock.

“I don’t know if it gives him a break, to speak to someone on the phone but it’s happened so many times now.”

The BBC show’s team of ‘ethical hackers’ did some research to find out what personal details about Jim are exposed online.

The family were disturbed to learn that his address and year of birth are publicly accessible.

The landline and mobile numbers which he has been targeted on were also available.

A lot of data about his son, Chris, was also exposed, including his date of birth and phone numbers.

Chris was shocked to realise that his data had been breached several times, dating back to 2016, including email addresses and passwords.

Chris said: “I feel a little bit disturbed that all that information about me is out there.

“I just never gave it a second thought.”

To update Jim’s security, the family have organised a new number for his phone.

He also decided to no longer order anything online by himself, with all internet purchases to go through Chris.

Dirty Rotten Scammers airs on BBC One, on weekdays at 10am.

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